On June 7, 2012, FoxNews.com reported that in Hart County, KY, dozens of people were hospitalized when a tour bus overturned in central Kentucky. The bus carried 55 people, including 34 school students. The bus was going to Washington when it failed to negotiate a curve on Route 728 in Hart County before 6 pm, The Bowling Green Daily News reported.
The students were from Cub Run Elementary School. A Kentucky State Police trooper said those injured were taken to three separate hospitals by ambulances and private vehicles.
The Hart County bus crash is a warning to passengers to be wary of chartered buses, mass transit, and discount bus lines. According to the Virginian-Pilot, discount bus lines providing discount fares add up to discount safety. There are many instances of driver fatigue and failure of buses or mass transit to take safety measures such as seat belts for passengers. Besides the Hart County bus crash, in May 2011, about 30 miles north of Richmond, VA, a bus operated by a Sky Express, a discount company with a poor record of fatigued drivers overturned on a Virginia highway, killing four people and injuring over 50.
Despite discussions by federal regulators to improve safety, passengers have little help researching whether buses undertake basic safety precautions. For example, at least eight discount bus lines in Virginia make daily runs to New York and Washington, but only two companies show up on a federal database that assists passengers on safety records. Part of the problem in monitoring bus safety records is the constant changing of company names, and pickup and drop-off points.
When an accident is with a bus, there may be several parties responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries: bus owner, bus driver, bus manufacturer, bus driver employer. Each Kentucky injury lawyer diligently investigates the relationships between the responsible parties to ensure no party avoids liability.
In mass transit crashes, driver mistakes are generally the cause of accidents more so than weather, road conditions, or truck performance. Federal regulations require bus companies to test bus drivers for substance abuse (e.g. medication, alcohol), and sleep deprivation. Federal regulations have work hour rules to make sure mass transit drivers get necessary rest to safely drive. To prove sleep deprivation, a Kentucky injury lawyer evaluates the bus driver logs.
Bus companies get away with not complying with safety standards when their names keep changing. This makes it difficult for federal and state officials to inspect companies.
Those injured in a Kentucky bus wreck may be looking at months, or years of recovery for personal injuries. A bus crash can be a life-changing tragedy that requires the assistance of Kentucky personal injury attorneys for full justice.