Statistics from the National Transit Database (NTD) reveal that Cincinnati Metro bus drivers have been in hundreds of accidents. From 2007 through 2016, these drivers were involved in an average of 14 collisions per year that caused at least $25,000 in property damage or required buses to be towed away.
The statistics from the NTD were recently presented to the Cincinnati City Council after the council requested data in response to a January 2016 bus accident that caused a pedestrian’s death. The driver of the bus had been involved in 39 other crashes during his career.
Below, you can learn more about common causes of bus accidents in Cincinnati and what you should know about filing an injury claim if you are ever a victim of one of these crashes. The Cincinnati bus accident lawyers at our firm are prepared to defend your rights and pursue fair compensation if you are injured in a bus crash. Schedule a free legal consultation today to discuss your situation.
Causes Of Bus Accidents
There are a variety of factors that contribute to bus crashes. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Driver fatigue – Many bus drivers work long hours, which means they are often on the road late at night or early in the morning. This can increase the odds of them being tired behind the wheel.
- Misjudging clearances –According to the NTD statistics presented to the city council, 58 percent of bus accidents were caused by bus drivers misjudging clearances and colliding with other vehicles or fixed objects.
- Aggressive driving – Bus drivers may engage in aggressive driving because they are angry about heavy traffic, which they may encounter every day. Aggressive driving could include cutting off cars or switching lanes quickly without making sure the other lane is clear. Approximately 15 percent of Cincinnati bus crashes were a result of buses attempting to merge into other lanes or passing Metro buses, according to NTD statistics.
- Distracted driving –This includes texting while driving or anything else that takes a driver’s eyes, hands or attention off the task of driving. The January 2016 bus crash that sparked the Cincinnati City Council’s request for data occurred when the bus driver took his eyes off the road to throw away a cup of chili. The NTD statistics show that 12 percent of Cincinnati bus accidents were attributed to distracted driving.
- Speeding – Bus drivers who get behind on their routes may try to make up time by speeding, putting others on the road at risk. While speeding is dangerous no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, speeding is even more dangerous when operating a bus because these vehicles take longer to stop and can cause much more damage than a traditional passenger vehicle.
Can I File An Injury Claim After A Cincinnati Bus Accident?
Even though Ohio law prohibits political subdivisions, including cities and city employees, from being held liable for personal injuries, you can still file an injury claim against the city over a bus accident. This is because Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2744.02(B)(1) makes an exception for injury, death or loss to person or property caused by negligent operation of a motor vehicle by employees engaged in the scope of their employment and authority.
Cincinnati has its own specific rules about filing claims against the city. For example, your complaint must include the following information:
- Name, mailing address and phone number
- Brief statement describing the accident and the costs incurred
- Documentation of all of your insurance coverage relevant to the claim
Under ORC 2744.05(B), if a court finds the city at fault for your accident, you can recover compensation for your losses, minus the total of all insurance benefits you are entitled under all applicable insurance policies. This means the city will only be responsible for paying your insurance deductible and other expenses not covered by insurance.
Contact A Lawyer For Help With Your Bus Accident Claim
Filing an injury claim against a city or municipality is often complicated. That is why you should strongly consider working with an experienced Cincinnati personal injury lawyer who understands the different aspects of these kinds of cases.
The team of personal injury lawyers at our firm can thoroughly investigate your claim to determine what caused the accident and the amount of compensation you are entitled. We can discuss your options during a free, no obligation consultation. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you only pay attorneys’ fees if we help you recover on your claim.