The National Transportation Safety Board—the agency responsible for investigating and reporting aviation accidents, ship and marine accidents, railroad accidents, and some types of highway accidents involving motor vehicles—recently completed its investigation of a New Jersey accident that took place last year. That accident, which involved a school bus and a Mack truck, took the life of one student, and injured numerous students on the bus.
The bus was reportedly struck by the truck while going through an intersection, causing the bus to spin around and smash into a traffic pole. According to the NTSB, the accident was largely caused by chronic lack of sleep on the part of the bus driver, as well as the weight, speed and overall condition of the Mack truck. The truck driver had apparently been travelling at between 53 and 58 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone prior to the crash. In addition, problems were found with the trucks braking system, which was not operating at maximum efficiency.
The family of the student who died in the accident filed a lawsuit last April against both the bus driver and the truck driver, as well as their employers. In their complaint, they accuse the drivers and their employers of negligence. While no criminal charges have been filed against the drivers, both of them, and the truck’s owner, have previously been cited with traffic violations in connection with the NTSB investigation.
Commercial carrier vehicles in Colorado and around the nation, in addition to being bound by the rules of the road all motorists are bound by, must abide by federal regulations governing motor carriers. These regulations are designed to ensure the safe operation of commercial carrier vehicles so that passengers and other motorists are not harmed in an accident. When drivers and companies fail to obey safety measures, the consequences can be catastrophi
Source: Phillyburbs.com,”NTSB cites school bus-driver fatigue, truck’s weight, brakes in Chesterfield crash,” David Levinsky, July 24, 2013.