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Overturned Tractor-Trailer Becomes Target for Bus — Causing Crash

584005_30246517.jpgThe Atlanta Injury Attorneys Blog has often posted on the serious dangers of bus and truck accidents and the major injuries that can result from crashes involving these vehicles. My Atlanta personal injury law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in serious motor vehicle accidents, including those involving large trucks and buses.

Last week in Nebraska, 41 people were taken to the hospital for injuries when a bus crashed into an overturned semitrailer that had drifted and overcorrected, causing it to become imbalanced and overturn. Thankfully, many of these injuries were minor, but others were not. Serious injuries often result from accidents involving trucks and buses, not to mention a collision of two of these large vehicles.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. The accident occurred near Omaha at about 2 a.m. in the morning. The bus was traveling to Denver. A semitrailer had overturned and was in a lane of traffic when a second truck came along and clipped it.
Then the bus collided with the overturned tractor-trailer.

The passenger accounts are chilling — the aftermath was chaotic and the impact frightening. Some passengers report that the driver was talking on the phone at times during the trip and perhaps prior to the accident. Investigators are looking into this, but this has not been confirmed.

According to the report in the Associated Press, the bus company does not allow personal cell phone calls. However, drivers are permitted to speak with dispatchers and other drivers and terminals while they are in transit.

Sadly, the bus driver was in critical condition after the accident and the driver of the overturned semitrailer was in fair condition. One passenger was in serious condition and two others were in fair condition.

The bus company involved apparently has had no record of safety violations in the past two years. The driver was very experienced, had ten years of bus driving and nearly one million miles driven. Unlike many buses, the bus that was involved in this crash was new and had seat belts.

Mandatory seat belts in buses have long been recommended by the US Department of Transportation, but the recommendation has not yet been fully implemented. A proposed rule in accordance with NHTSA’s 2007 Motorcoach Safety Plan and DOT’s 2009 Departmental Motorcoach Safety Action Plan, has been issued by NHTSA which would amend the Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) on occupant crash protection.

This proposed rule would require lap/shoulder seat belts for each passenger seating position in new motorcoaches. The proposal also requires a lap/shoulder belt for the motorcoach and large school bus driver’s seating positions, which currently are required to have either a lap or a lap/shoulder belt. It is not clear whether the driver in this crash had a seat belt on or if it would have made a difference given the severity of the collision.

If you have been seriously injured in a truck, bus or other highway accident, please contact the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, PC. Our law firm helps clients secure the financial and medical recovery they need after a traumatic event in their lives.

We provide a free consultation to evaluate your matter in one of our convenient Atlanta area offices, and if we represent you, we provide supportive legal representation to you and your family.