Two Charter Buses in Crash in Gastonia, North Carolina

by | Apr 28, 2024 | Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Tour Bus Accident

There was a crash involving two charter buses in Gastonia, North Carolina on April 26, 2024.  The two buses were traveling on Interstate 85.  According to reports, the first bus stopped suddenly due to traffic on the roadway.  The second bus was unable to stop, colliding with the other one.  The buses were transporting 85 students and 21 chaperones on a middle school field trip.  Seven students were taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.  The bus driver was cited after the crash for failing to reduce speed.

Charter bus crashes can be particularly devastating, and one common risk arises from the failure to reduce speed adequately when encountering traffic slowdowns or stops on highways. Buses are large, heavy vehicles that require significantly more time and distance to come to a complete stop compared to smaller passenger vehicles. When a charter bus is traveling at highway speeds and suddenly comes upon congested traffic or a traffic stop, the risk of rear-end collisions increases dramatically if the driver has not maintained a safe following distance or is not attentive to road conditions ahead. These collisions can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, given the mass and momentum of a fully loaded bus.

Driver fatigue and distraction are key factors contributing to the inability to slow down in time. Charter bus drivers often operate on tight schedules that may lead to insufficient breaks and long hours behind the wheel, which can result in decreased alertness and slower reaction times. Additionally, distractions such as mobile devices, onboard entertainment systems, or interactions with passengers can divert the driver’s attention from the road at critical moments. This lack of attention is perilous when traffic flow changes abruptly, as it leaves less time to react to avoid a crash. Ensuring drivers adhere to regulated driving hours and encouraging regular breaks are essential preventative measures.

Moreover, adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or fog, can exacerbate the dangers of not reducing speed on busy highways. Wet or icy roads increase the required stopping distance and can cause a charter bus to skid or hydroplane if the driver has not adjusted the speed to match the road conditions. Visibility issues associated with bad weather can also prevent drivers from seeing slowed or stopped traffic ahead until it is too late. It is crucial for charter bus companies to train drivers thoroughly in handling their vehicles under various weather conditions and to implement strict policies that mandate reducing speed based on the current driving environment to prevent accidents.

Unfortunately, accidents involving charter busses have become more and more prevalent.  There was an accident involving a charter bus in Hancock County, Mississippi on April 5, 2024.  A charter bus ran off the roadway in Greensville County, Virginia on April 20, 2024.  There was an accident involving a charter bus in Palm Beach County, Florida on April 23, 2024.  A bicyclist was killed by a charter bus while crossing the street in Covington, Kentucky on April 25, 2024.

Safety considerations must take precedence to ensure that anyone relying on charter transportation remains safe.  Safe bus operators must consider take necessary precautions to ensure that their busses do not put the lives of passengers at risk.  The risks of catastrophic injury should always be considered by safe vessel operators.  When charter operators fail to account for the known hazards of the industry catastrophic injuries or deaths can result.  Safe companies must hire and train only individuals who can carry out the work without putting at risk the lives of dozens of passengers.  A responsible driver must drive at appropriate speeds based on the weather conditions, and only drive when it is safe to do so.  Failing to do so can have catastrophic results.

Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, New Mexico and New York.  We have previously handled cases involving bus crashes.  Our attorneys have extensive experience and the skills needed to aggressively represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in a trucking or commercial vehicle accident.  The experienced personal injury attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was involved in an accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.