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FMCSA Issues Safety Advisory After Recent Megabus Accidents

In previous posts, our Chicago accident attorneys have made driver negligence our primary concern, discussing the various causes of many accidents including driver fatigue, driving under the influence, and distracted driving, in addition to discussing the preventative steps drivers can take to avoid these accidents. Just as important, our attorneys must also consider whether other factors besides driver negligence may have led to an accident, such as defective vehicle parts, improper use of road signs, or other factors. This was the case last week when released a report regarding the recent Megabus accidents and their causes due to excessive weight and tire blowouts.

Last month, two serious Megabus accidents occurred due to tire blowouts, one in Illinois and one in Georgia. The former resulted in a passenger fatality and multiple serious injuries to 47 people when the double decker bus carrying 81 passengers struck a bridge support pillar after one of its tires blew out. Less than a week later, a tour bus operated by Megabus caught fire on Interstate 85 near the South Carolina-Georgia border, according to the report. The bus driver stated that a tire had blown before the fire erupted, and fortunately all passengers were evacuated before anyone was injured. The fire nearly destroyed half of the bus by the time the fire was extinguished.

These accidents, in this case, were not due to driver negligence but instead a defective part of the vehicle, the tires. Our bus accident attorneys learned that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issues a safety advisory bulletin to transportation companies warning them that double decker buses may be susceptible to tire blow outs if they are carrying too much weight. The agency noted the increase of travel on intercity double-deck buses and the high numbers of passengers and associated baggage they carry, and pointed to potential aggravating factors such as excessive speed and high pavement temperatures. As a result, the report states that the FMSCA will immediately revoke operating authority of carriers that exceed relevant tire load limits, in addition to working with state officials to increase enforcement of safety regulations.

Whether an accident is caused by driver negligence or defective problems similar to those described above, the safety of individuals near the accident is put at risk. It is essential that all necessary precautions be taken to prevent motor vehicle accidents and thus prevent personal injury.

Our Illinois bus accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have represented many individuals and families in bus accident lawsuits involving personal injury, medical expenses and property damage. If you have been injured in a bus accident, we are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, inform you of your rights, and ultimately offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.