Within the upcoming week, members of the National Transportation Safety Board are set to meet in order to determine the cause of a devastating fatal commercial vehicle accident that transpired in 2010, which ultimately resulted in two fatalities and thirty-eight injuries. According to a report posted on STNOnline.com, board members will additionally consider purposed safety recommendations on the issue of distracted driving within the realm of commercial vehicles, particularly the school bus industry.
The multi-vehicle accident in question occurred on August 5, 2010 when a pickup truck rear-ended a stopped semi tractor-trailer on an interstate roadway. The initial crash caused a domino-effect of collisions which including two school buses transporting a high school band that were following from the rear. The first school bus collided into the rear of the pickup track, which was subsequently hit by the second school bus. As a result of the collisions, a 15 year-old passenger in the school bus and the 19 year-old driver of the pickup truck were killed.
Our accident lawyers in Chicago read that an initial investigation was conducted shortly after the accident by the National Transportation Safety Board and the state’s Highway Patrol. The preliminary report revealed that inattentiveness on behalf of the first school buses driver caused the initial collision, while close following distance between the first and second school bus caused the last rear end collision. Originally, the NTSB was looking into whether the use of safety belts for passengers in the school buses should have been used.
With over twenty-four students sustaining injuries, two requiring hospitalization, the deputy of director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety released a statement after review of the accident stating that it was “inexplicable” why the driver of the first school bus failed to alter the vehicle’s travel path and adequately react to the slowing traffic on the roadway. Given evidence gathered since the accident last year, it is believed that the bus driver was texting prior to the fatal collision.
Distracted driving by commercial vehicle drivers is a commonly discussed issue on our Illinois trucking accident blog. Time after time, every Chicago truck accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti reads about or personally handles devastating accidents that are a direct cause of driver distraction. Any time any type of vehicle is operated by a driver who becomes distracted, commonly through cell phone conversations – verbal or texting, the risk for driving errors substantially increase. Distracted driving can be eliminated when drivers avoid multi-tasking and stay focused on safe travel.