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Bus Company in Fatal Crash Often Cited for Falsifying Drivers Time Behind the Wheel

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on March 5, 2011

The bus company that owned the bus involved in a horrible accident in New York has repeatedly failed to follow state guidelines put in place to ensure their drivers get enough rest. Connecticut state inspection records indicate that the drivers working for World Wide Travel routinely failed to keep their logbooks updated. This includes the driver behind the wheel when his bus crashed recently, killing 15 people and injuring many more. The bus was returning to Manhattan from a casino trip when the deadly crash occurred, and crash investigators are looking into whether or not the driver fell asleep while driving. Investigators do know that the bus driver involved in the crash had failed to update his logbook for several days leading up to the accident.

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has cited World Wide Travel seven times for drivers falsifying their logbooks over the last ten years. The DMV has twice taken World Wide Travel buses out of service after routine inspections that revealed serious safety problems. The most recent occurred in May 2010 when inspectors found an engine drive belt of a bus dragging along the ground. Inspectors also cited the driver for failing to update his logbook during this inspection. State inspectors routinely inspect buses parked at the state’s casinos as there are always plenty in the lot, and this is the preferred mode of transportation for large groups. In 2010, inspectors conducted 382 inspections at Connecticut’s two casinos, and over 40 of the buses inspected were taken out of service for mechanical problems or drivers’ noncompliance with logbook rules.

The driver involved in the fatal bus accident claims a semi truck clipped his bus, causing him to lose control. However, passengers on the bus and accident witnesses claim they saw the driver driving erratically in the moments before the fatal crash. After the driver lost control, the bus flipped onto its side and was sheared in half at the window level by a large metal signpost. The accident is being investigated by several state and federal agencies including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which reports that buses owned by World Wide Travel have been involved in at least two more accidents in the last two years in which riders experienced injuries.

State and federal laws and regulations are in place to ensure that charter bus companies properly maintain their vehicles and that drivers get enough sleep to safely operate their buses. If a bus company fails to ensure their drivers get enough rest and update their logbooks in a timely manner and/or fails to keep buses in good working order and either of these situations leads to an accident, they can be held liable for damages.

Have you been injured in a Florida bus accident caused by a sleepy driver or poorly maintained bus? If so, you may be able to seek damages against the bus company with the help of an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney such as James O. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham has been a strong advocate for passenger safety since he began practicing law in 1977. Over the years, he has successfully represented countless clients injured in bus accidents and helped them receive court awards or settlements. If you’ve suffered an injury in a bus accident and would like to speak with an Orlando personal injury lawyer, call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 for a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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