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Tour Bus Accident Raises Questions About Safety in Nevada

On Friday, January 22, a tour bus on its way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon rolled on Diamond Bar Road at 12:21 p.m. The bus accident left one dead and forty-two people injured. Two of the passengers were critically injured, while the forty other passengers were admitted to the hospital. [1]

A spokesperson for the Lake Mohave Ranchos Sheriff’s office stated that speed was a possible cause for the incident, and the bus slid down the road quiet a way, causing a lot of wreckage and heavily damaging the bus. It was also announced that the Las Vegas-based tour bus company would be investigated for the incident.

While details surrounding the incident are unclear and still under investigation, it does raise questions surrounding the safety of tour buses, as well as liability in case of injury.

Choosing the Right Bus

The United States Department of Transportation states that charter buses are fifty times safer than traveling in a car, and twice as safe as flying in an airplane. In addition, buses account for only ten percent of road fatalities, making it one of the safest ways to travel. [2]

When looking to book with a tour bus company, it is important to take some simple precautions to protect yourself and your family. When buying tickets, search the tour bus company name on USDOT. This will search the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA)  database for statistics and safety pertaining to each company’s vehicles, drivers, accident history, etc. This feature allows you to compare different companies and choose the safest one.

When looking at the report USDOT provides, it is important to ensure that the bus is registered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Additionally, it is important to check the last maintenance date of the bus, and if the company’s drivers passed their hours-of-service. Lastly, check for history of accidents, and try and avoid companies with several prior incidents, especially if they were fatal.  All this information is provided within the report for each tour bus company.

Tour Bus Safety Oversight

While traveling in buses is relatively safe, how do we ensure companies are held accountable? When it comes to tour bus company oversight, there is little to no rules and regulations. While both domestic planes and charter buses can carry similar numbers of people, there is far more oversight in aviation, although tour bus accident in Nevada can be equally catastrophic.

Deborah Hersman, a chairman for the Department of Transportation, noted that many tour bus companies that are involved in fatal crashes are let off the hook, and issued a warning with little or no oversight afterward.  Additionally, many defective trucks are not pulled out for service, and only seven percent of bus drivers are inspected for their hours-of-service. [4] These numbers are worrisome, and often times nothing is done until a fatal crash occurs and it’s too late.

What To Do If You Are Involved in A Crash

Being involved in a tour bus crash, like any other motor vehicle crash, can be painful and traumatizing. Possible injuries can include:

  • Lacerations and Cuts from Broken Glass
  • Broken Bones
  • Head and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Burns if Fire occurs
  • Internal Injuries (i.e internal bleeding, punctured lungs, kidney damage etc) [5]

If you are seeking compensation for the injuries acquired in the accident, it is important to understand the proper legal plan of action. To begin, it is important to figure out who is liable for the incident. While it may seem simple, tour bus accidents can hold multiple parties responsible if they played some, if even a minor role in the incident. If you traveled on a chartered tour bus, both the tour company and the bus company can be held liable for the incident. [6]

These injuries can be life-altering and painful, and getting some compensation can alleviate the financial burdens caused by the accident. If you have trouble filing a claim or need help doing so, it is best to contact an injury attorney who can help guide you through the steps and get you the compensation you deserve.








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