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Spring and Summer Travel: Booking a Safe Motor Coach

Spring and summer are the seasons that many schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations hire a coach bus for private trips. While taking a chartered bus can be convenient for a large group, leaders should be aware of the potential safety hazards when hiring a bus company. There are also ways to minimize the chance of an accident and to ensure the company you hire meets federal and industry safety standards.

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A recent investigation by USA Today found that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), isn’t properly tracking all the accidents and deaths caused by buses. These misinformation has given the public a false impression that buses are safer than is the reality. Many accidents, including one in 2003 that killed eight people, aren’t included in fatality statistics. Our Boston bus accidents attorneys are dedicated to raising safety awareness to prevent accidents on the nation’s highways. We also are working to ensure that motorists and travelers understand the risk of riding a bus when companies and their drivers are in violation of safety standards.

A North Carolina incident that killed Lorenzo Charles, a famed college basketball player, is a reminder that chartered bus companies can pose serious hazards on the roads. Accident reports indicated that the motor coach lost control on Interstate 40 in Raleigh, North Carolina. This brings the number of fatalities in coach accidents to 25 in March. USA Today also found at least 42 other deaths of motor coach occupants that were not reported by the NHTSA under current standards. This is because accidents on midsized buses are not considered motor coach fatalities.

Due to the number of accidents and fatalities caused by motor coach accidents every year, the Obama Administration has pursued measures to improve passenger safety. In addition to increasing the number of surprise inspections, the federal government is also proposing mandatory seat belts and collaboration with state officials to improve quality assurances. The federal government also released a statement urging consumers to research commercial bus companies when traveling.

Motorists in Boston and nationwide can also use the U.S. Department of Transportation’s SaferBus application for the iPhone/iPad, which allows users to review a bus company’s safety record before buying a ticket or making a booking on behalf of an organization or large group. Whether you are planning a large family trip, company outing, or looking for a motor coach for an event, make sure you know the safety record of the company you choose. The SaferBus app is an easy and effective way to look up bus companies and plan ahead to prevent accidents and injuries. You can download the app for free by visiting the Apple iTunes App Store or by visiting the FMCSA’s webpage.

The American Bus Association reports that motor coaches are a leading option for long-distance travel. In 2009, there were more than 700 million motor coach passenger trips. As spring and summer travel plans are being made, remember the potential dangers when riding on a coach bus. By using the FMCSA app, you can access thousands of records on interstate commercial carriers, including motor coach companies, school bus, and tour bus companies.

If you were involved in a Boston car accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-888-367-2900.

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