Most people realize that public transportation provides a great service for cities and towns where it is present. It eases traffic congestion, is good for the environment and provides a method of transportation for those who otherwise wouldn’t have it. Another benefit is the fact that public transit accidents are believed to be less frequent than other types of accidents. This is obviously true since there are fewer public transit vehicles out there and thus a lesser chance of them being involved in accidents. Recent news stories, however, are beginning to reveal how dangerous this transportation option can be.
Although public transit is usually seen as safe, it almost seems as if a new headline story involving accidents in these vehicles happens every day. The beginning of February 2013 was especially detrimental. On the second of the month, a bus in Boston struck an overpass while driving down a road which restricted vehicles of its height. Four people were sent to the hospital with serious injuries; one passenger’s injuries were life-threatening.
As if the Boston accident wasn’t enough, another bus in a mountainous area of California crashed one day later. The death toll of this accident was initially reported to be eight, but officials said that this number could rise. Officials were investigating whether or not driver fatigue could’ve been involved, but they’ve begun seriously looking into the idea that the brakes on the vehicle may have failed.
Is Public Transit Safe?
There’s no doubt that public transit probably saves numerous lives every year. The National Safety Council reports that riding a bus, for instance, is more than 170 times safer than driving in a car. This makes public transportation a safe option for anyone who needs it. Unfortunately, just like any other mode of transportation, when public transit is combined with human error or negligence, there is a high likelihood of injuries occurring.
The United States Department of Transportation reports that the number of public transit deaths exceeds 50 people every year, and many others are seriously injured due to accidents. While accidents are unlikely, this fact does little to help the people who are actually involved in the wrecks. That’s why it’s essential for people to respond appropriately when involved in such an accident.
Responding to Public Transit Accidents
Those who design, manufacture, sell and operate public transit vehicles have the duty to make sure that the vehicles are safe. When any of these people fail in that duty, serious injuries or, as mentioned above, deaths can occur. Regardless of whether you ask one of the lawyers in your area or one of the Charleston injury lawyers near me, they will undoubtedly agree that these types of accidents usually result in excessive losses due to medical bills, lost time from work, long-term care or funeral expenses.
It’s absolutely imperative for anyone injured in a public transit accident to seek legal help as soon as they’re capable. It is simply unfair for a person to have to struggle with bills due to the fact that a supposed public servant acted in a neglectful manner. Attorneys are experienced at ensuring that people receive compensation for the injuries that they suffer, so this is often an injured person’s best option.
There’s no doubt that public transit is a great service for those who use it, but unfortunately, human error and flat out negligence can make these modes of transportation much less safe than they’re supposed to be. Anyone who experiences one of these accidents can face serious injuries, medical bills and unfortunately, even death. Only if those at fault are held responsible for their neglectful actions can we hope that public transit will remain a safe option.
Legal researcher Shelby Warden contributes this article to help raise awareness of safety issues with public transportation. The Charleston injury lawyers at Howell and Christmas, LLC, are dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured and their families in South Carolina. Their team is ready to go to court and fight to get you all of the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages.