A recent accident in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, highlights the serious dangers that buses can pose. Patsy Stokes Burton, 69, died shortly after being struck and dragged 30 feet by a county transportation bus on July 31. Burton, who worked in the area, was familiar with the neighborhood and was crossing the street at a local crosswalk when she was hit.
City buses are a convenient mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Over 241 million bus trips are taken by passengers each year. Their immense size and high occupancy, however, make any accident involving a bus a major incident for everyone involved.
As a result, bus companies need to make sure that every bus in their fleet is in top condition and that every driver on their staff is fully trained and not driving distracted. Extra care needs to be taken at bus stops, where passengers and other pedestrians are walking nearby and can move into blind spots unexpectedly. In addition, buses need to avoid making sudden maneuvers in roadways that can cut off other drivers or push them out of their lanes.
Passengers and passers-by can also play a role in bus safety. It is important to always give buses ample room. Stay about 10 feet away from a bus whenever possible to maximize your visibility and allow space to maneuver. Pedestrians and drivers should also remember that directly behind a bus’s rear passenger-side corner is one of its more dangerous blind spots, along with immediately in front of it.
Anyone who has been involved in a bus accident, whether as a passenger or a bystander, should contact a skilled bus accident attorney to discuss their legal options. The accident attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC have extensive experience handling bus accident cases and securing compensation for injured victims. They can be reached at their Baltimore office for a free initial consultation.