Charter buses are a comfortable, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly form of transportation. However, over the past few years, charter bus accidents have been on the rise. This is due in part to the increasing number of charter bus operators. As of 2017, there are around 4,500 private charter bus companies throughout North America.
There are many types of public and private charter buses, including but not limited to:
- Double decker bus
- Executive/day coach
- Tour bus
- Event rental/party bus
- Travel bus, such as Greyhound
No matter their usage, the vast majority of charter buses have one thing in common: They do not have seatbelts, nor does the law require them to have seatbelts. In 2013, the FMCSA created regulations that require all new motor coaches and other large buses to be equipped with a 3-point lap/shoulder safety belt. The rule is not retroactive and did not go into effect until 2016. Therefore, most types of charter buses out on the road today do not have seatbelts.
The charter bus industry has fought long and hard against government regulation. They claim if they were forced to retrofit their older buses with seatbelts, it would put them out of business in the highly competitive bus industry.
The most common reasons for a bus accident include driver negligence through error, fatigue, aggressive or distracted driving, or when there has been a mechanical failure or inadequate maintenance. If a charter bus accident does occur, tour operators, tour bus companies and other related organizations can be held liable for your injuries.
Schedule a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in a charter or tour bus accident, contact Washington’s Herrmann Law Group for a free legal consultation. Our charter bus accident attorneys will fight hard for you, and can even help you deal with the insurance companies. One of our dedicated and experienced Washington attorneys will advise on the best course of action to move forward in your charter bus case.