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NTSB Report Blames Bus Accident on Driver Fatigue

New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers Urge Greater Focus on Driver Fatigue

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released its investigative report into a deadly bus accident in New York last year that killed 15 people.  The report blames the catastrophe solely on the driver who was driving in a fatigued condition.

The accident occurred on March 12, 2011, when the bus was travelling back to Chinatown from a casino.  The bus was traveling at about 78 mph on Interstate 95, which has a posted speed limit of 50 mph, when it ran off the road, flipped and crashed into a support pole.  The pole sliced through the bus, sheering off the top of the vehicle, and killing at least 14 passengers instantly.  The 15th passenger died in the hospital and at least 17 passengers, including the driver, were seriously injured. 

The National Transportation Safety Board does not believe that the driver made any attempt to brake the bus or steer the vehicle back onto the highway once it veered off the road.  Investigators believe that the driver’s performance was affected by the lack of sleep and fatigue-related impairment.  It is possible that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The conditions that existed before the accident were ripe for a disaster of this magnitude.  The driver was mostly assigned to overnight shifts and a typical workday involved driving to the casino just before midnight and returning home in the morning.  On days off, the driver would drive in the daytime and sleep at night.  This erratic schedule created conditions of fatigue that are similar to jet lag. 

Your New Jersey personal injury lawyer notes that fatigue is the cause of many roadway accidents.  In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board reports that fatigue was a contributing factor in at least seven out of the last 19 motor coach accidents that have come before the Board for investigation.  To avoid the risk of an accident, make sure you are well-rested before operating a motor vehicle.

The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons who have been injured in accidents across New Jersey.


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