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Feds may have failed in ensuring safety involving bus crashes

Federal accident investigators are researching the practices of a government agency responsible for making sure commercial vehicles are safe. They are questioning the competence of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration following the deaths of 25 people who were involved in four truck and tour bus crashes in several states including Tennessee. The agency was aware of critical safety issues concerning truck and bus companies but failed to attempt to correct the situation.

One accident involved a tractor-trailer involved in a collision with eight other vehicles. The car accident, which occurred in Tennessee, involved two fatalities and six injuries. The truck driver had violated federal regulations concerning the amount of hours drivers are required to rest, and company records indicated that several of its drivers had similar violations. The motor carrier administration was aware that the drivers were spending too many hours on the road but only conducted a marginal safety inspection that permitted the company to remain in operation.

Another accident involved a California tour bus that overturned, killing eight people and injuring several others. The bus driver said that his brakes failed. Authorities discovered that all six brakes on the bus were defective and involved cracked or worn drums as well as other components that were deemed inoperative. Further investigation indicated that the company had received violations for mechanical problems during prior inspections. The motor carrier administration employs approximately 350 safety inspectors and oversees more than 525,000 truck, tour and intercity bus companies. More than 3.5 million inspections are conducted across the United States annually. Careful inspections and accountability could reduce the number of fatal car and truck accidents, making the nation's roads safer for all drivers.

A motor vehicle accident attorney could help those who have suffered as a result of a trucking companies negligence. An attorney may investigate an accident to prove that a certain party is liable for his or her client's injuries, therefore winning a favorable settlement on their behalf.

Source: KGW, "Feds: Lack of oversight in deadly bus crahses", November 08, 2013

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