Bus Driver Fatigue and Crashes in Houston
When a bus crashes, people can be killed. Buses carry precious cargo. Mothers take the bus to see their sons and children ride the bus to see their parents. Tired bus drivers put the safety of their passengers at risk. The number of bus crashes caused by bus driver fatigue in on the rise.
The Causes of Fatal Bus Crashes Include Driver Fatigue
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates causes of fatal bus crashes to pinpoint and suggest fixes for problems. The NTSB has identified several causes of fatal bus crashes including:
- Driver fatigue
- Medical conditions of the driver
- Distracted driving
- Mechanical failures
- Road conditions
In addition to efforts to make buses safer, adding seat belts or shatter proof glass, action must be taken to end driver fatigue. Driving while tired has been demonstrated to be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than drunk driving.
Fatigue Impacts a Driver’s Ability to Safely Drive Their Vehicle
The NTSB posts its 10 Most Wanted List every year. Fatigue heads up the list of safety concerns. The NTSB’s Most Wanted List is designed to increase awareness and support for the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives.
Human fatigue is both a symptom of poor sleep and health management and an enabler of other impairments. Fatigue leads to poor judgment, slowed reaction times, and a loss of control. Fatigue makes it difficult for a person to stay alert, and safely control their vehicle. To make matters worse, once we are tired, we have a hard time gauging just how tired we are.
Bus companies must account for and plan for the danger that comes with tired drivers. There are several steps that bus companies can take including:
- Equip vehicles with electronic logging devices that collect data on driver hours to monitor and assess hours-of-service compliance
- Fatigue risk management programs – bus companies should establish programs aimed at ending driver fatigue
- Institute policies and programs to address scheduling, provide medical screening for disruptive sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and provide rest environments
- Promote personal responsibility during off-duty hours – drivers must be trained on the importance of resting before getting behind the wheel
Sleep experts say adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to perform at their maximum function. Bus companies must allow their drivers enough time off between shifts to get the sleep required to safely operate the bus.
Houston Bus Driver Fatigue Accident Attorney
Bus companies and drivers should not put passengers at risk due to a lack of sleep. The almighty dollar should not be more important that the lives of those on the bus and the road. If you’ve been injured in a bus crash caused by a tired driver, Chelsie King Garza is here to help hold those responsible accountable for your damages. Contact Chelsie King Garza for a free consultation to discuss your rights.