The state of Florida is full of tourist attractions. From Saint Augustine to Orlando and Tampa to South Beach Fort Lauderdale and as far south as Key West, it seems there is a popular tourist spot anywhere in the sunshine state. Even though many vacationers travel by plane or car, there are millions that rely on commercial buses for their method of transportation when vacationing.
Unlike school and transit buses, commercial buses (also called intercity buses) are primarily used for traveling long distances. The distance could be from one city to another or from state to state. A commercial bus can be used for tours and vacations, as well as long distance school field trips to historical locations like Saint Augustine. These buses can also be used by schools for team sport events (when there is an away game that is farther than usual) or competitions for a school band. Because of the long travel time, these buses are designed for comfort and are used for several reasons.
Even though a commercial bus can be involved in an accident for the same reason as other types of buses (Negligence of another vehicle, mechanical malfunction, etc.), the distance a commercial bus travels also makes it vulnerable to these other dangers:
- Driver fatigue: Very similar to some truck drivers, a commercial bus driver will travel a very long distance on the road. Even though the scenery can change, being on the road for long distances can lead to driver fatigue. Driver fatigue results in mental or physical exertion that impairs the performance of the person behind the wheel. Besides the amount of driving, this can also be caused by a lack of sleep, extended work hours, a strenuous work environment, non-work related activities or a combination of the factors.
- Weather conditions: Many commercial buses that crash in Florida originally traveled from another state. Even though snow is not a driving hazard in Florida and an icy road is hard (if not impossible) to find in the sunshine state, rain and wet roads can be extremely dangerous for someone who is not accustomed to the sporadic Florida storms. One minute it could just be a few dark clouds, then the next minute it seems like you are driving through a hurricane. Combining this with the constant construction on I-95, 595 and other Florida highways makes wet roads more dangerous than one might think.
- Unfamiliar Roadway: If you are from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach or other congested areas of Florida, then you know how to drive in those areas just fine. Now take a bus that is not familiar with the driving habits of certain areas, architecture of certain roads, confusing intersections (Golden Glades) and there is no wonder the number of bus accidents are only increasing.
With new lower fares on traditional medium- distance routes and rising gasoline prices, bus travel is becoming a cheaper and more popular alternative. Unfortunately, the number of bus accidents is also increasing. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial bus accident, then please contact our Ft. Lauderdale accident attorneys at MADALON LAW for your free consultation.