Public Transportation Safety Tips
For many people throughout Florida, public transportation is a way of life. As a cost efficient form of travel, it is convenient and good for the environment. It allows riders time to read, balance their checkbook, or simply relax while someone else takes care of the driving. Fortunately in St. Lucie and throughout Indian River County there are a number of options for bus service that residents can count on when making plans, scheduling appointments, or running errands. Although riding a bus is often considered safer than riding in a car, accidental injuries still can and do occur. Injuries caused by bus accidents can be severe, resulting in long term damage and permanent disability. Whether you take the bus across town or across the country, being aware of potential dangers and taking simple precautions can help ensure you get to your destination safely.
Potential Dangers of Public Transportation
According to bus accident statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, roughly 55,000 bus accidents occur each year in the United States. While these figures are much lower than those involving automobiles, they reflect a significant risk for people relying on public transit as a main source of transportation. For every accident involving a bus, there are likely to be 20 or more riders on that particular bus who may sustain some form of injury. Injuries as the result of these accidents often include multiple cuts and bruising, fractures, muscle sprain and strains, back injuries and traumatic head injuries.
In the majority of cases, the safety of bus riders is in the hands of the bus driver and driver error has the potential to put every rider on board at risk. The top risk factors for bus accidents include:
- Unsafe or reckless driving;
- Driving while fatigued or sick;
- Driver inexperience or lack of training; and
- Distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Improper vehicle maintenance, such as faulty brake lights and mechanical failures, is also a major contributing factor in public transportation accidents.
Public Transportation Safety
Whether you rely on the Port of St. Lucie bus system or one of our area’s many public and private shuttle bus transportation services, it is important to practice some general safety tips:
- Be aware of where emergency safety exits are located on the bus;
- Avoid making loud noises or playing music that could distract the driver;
- Have your fare ready when boarding, and be seated as quickly as possible;
- Remain in your seat while the bus is moving. Use the pull cord to indicate your stop to the driver;
- If the bus driver is driving erratically, get off at the net stop and wait for another bus; and
- Try to avoid waiting for the bus after dark, and choose stops that are well lighted. Avoid isolated stops.
Contact Our Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a public transportation accident, contact our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we’ll review your case, and help you to get the compensation you deserve. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, our lawyers and staff understand the serious nature of injuries related to bus accidents. Don’t delay; call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation today.