Department of Transportation Proposes New Rules to Protect Motorcoach and Large Bus Passengers in Rollover Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard yesterday, to protect motor-coach and other large bus passengers in rollover crashes. The proposal seeks to improve the structural design of large buses to ensure that passengers are better protected in the event of a deadly vehicle rollover.

In an article published by the NHTSA, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that, “The consequences for passengers in rollover crashes are severe. I want passengers to know that when this Department sees opportunities to make their travel safer so that they can more confidently visit their families or get to work, we are going to do just that and we believe this proposal is a step in that direction.”

The new regulation aims to ensure that performance requirements of large coach busses meet specific and dynamic performance tests in which the bus is tipped over from a raised platform and onto a hard level surface. The most crucial aspect is that the space around passengers remains sufficiently intact and the emergency exits remain operable.

In addition, the new proposed standard would:

– Require space around occupant seating positions to be maintained to afford occupants a survivable space in a crash;
– Require the seats, overhead luggage racks, and window glazing to remain attached to their mountings during and after the test; and – Require emergency exits to remain closed during the rollover test and operable after the test.

The testing procedures and performance requirements are closely modeled after the European regulations for large buses. Separately, the Department is planning on finalizing requirements, scheduled to pass this year, for stability control technologies in these types of vehicles, which would help prevent rollovers from occurring.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration administrator Anne Ferro, “Approximately 700 million trips are taken on commercial buses each year. Raising the standard for a motor-coach’s durability, in the event of a crash, is critical to saving the lives of the passengers inside.”

Utilizing publicly-operated bus service as well as the service of a privately chartered coach bus inevitably puts passengers at risk of sustaining an injury. A person who has become injured as the result of a bus accident or other type of public-transportation related accident may wonder what the next step is after sustaining an injury. He or she may wonder:

Who is responsible for paying medical bills?
How do I collect lost wages if I can’t return to work right away?
Can I collect compensation for pain and suffering?
What if I need to further treatment or physical therapy in the future?

All of these questions and other concerns can be addressed by a seasoned personal injury attorney. At the law firm of Altman & Altman, our team of Massachusetts Bus Accident Attorneys have over five decades of experience handling all types of bus accident and personal injury cases, whether it is a case with the MBTA, a private company, or an injury that was sustained on a bus company’s premises. We have both the knowledge and resources to help settle your case in a timely manner as well as provide you with some of the leading medical professionals in the Commonwealth. We have a proven track record of successfully and efficiently handling our clients’ cases so they are awarded the highest possible compensation for their injuries.

If you were recently injured as the result of a bus accident, call or email one of our esteemed attorneys to schedule a consultation. All initial consultations are completely free of charge and confidential.

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