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What attributes of bus drivers may increase accident severity?

When traveling from Chicago to another town, there are many good reasons you might want to go by bus rather than by car or plane. Buses can offer very competitive pricing. Getting in and out of a bus station can be easier than moving through an airport. And sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the driving while taking a long trip.

But while taking a bus absolves you of the responsibility of driving, someone has to get behind the wheel of that large vehicle and navigate it to its destination. When you board a bus, you trust that the driver is capable of completing the journey safely. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

No bus accident is good, but the severity of an accident will often determine how many people are injured and how seriously. But what factors could contribute to a driver's likelihood of causing a severe accident? A study published in the Journal of Safety Research revealed the following information:

  • Severe accident risk increases when a driver surpasses the age of 55.
  • Younger, less experienced drivers demonstrate an increased risk of being involved in accidents of greater severity.
  • Among bus drivers who were involved in accidents, less than 4 percent received charges due to such behaviors as driving while intoxicated, speeding or driving while drowsy.
  • Of those bus drivers who were involved in accidents, 83 percent did not demonstrate driving behaviors that are considered risky.

Bus companies have a responsibility to make sure all of their drivers have the requisite abilities to operate their vehicles safely. A driver who is not up to the task is a danger to passengers as well as all others with whom they share the road.

If you are ever injured in a bus accident, you may wish to seek the services of an attorney. An Illinois motor vehicle accident attorney could conduct an investigation to help clarify liability issues. The attorney may also be able to represent your interests when negotiating with the bus company and any of its insurance providers.