Greyhound has been in operation for over a hundred years. Some might assume that being in operation for so long would mean the company rarely gets into traffic collisions. However, the opposite is true. Greyhound buses are involved in accidents, and many times, they are severe collisions. The National Traffic Safety Board has investigated many of these collisions. Their investigation focused on driver training and company policies.
Our Las Vegas Greyhound bus accident lawyer at Cloward Trial Lawyers is familiar with these and other factors that can contribute to collisions.
The first focus of the Safety Board’s investigation involves driver training or lack thereof. Bus drivers will undergo training and be tested before getting on the road. However, drivers do not need to show complete comprehension of what they learn in training. In several accident investigations, bus drivers were found to have little experience driving business. When reviewing their training score, they were usually among the lowest scores in the entire class.
In some areas, drivers are not required to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a bus. That means they only have to pass the Greyhound driver training. In other instances, they do have to pass these tests, but the score does not need to be high. They can even take these tests multiple times a week until they pass.
One suggestion from the Safety Board is that Greyhound implement programs that identify drivers who need additional behind-the-wheel training. They should then provide the training. They should also have remedial training programs and undergo supervised behind-the-wheel experience.
Greyhound has a cubbing program, but there is some debate about its purpose. Greyhound Safety Directors cite this as behind-the-wheel training, but terminal managers disagree. They consider this program a way for drivers to familiarize themselves with their routes and how to handle daily operations.
The Safety Board suggests that the cubbing program get a concise definition. It should also be implemented company-wide since they found that the program is only available in certain areas.
Greyhound implemented a 50-hour driving time for new drivers to finish school. All driving times should be logged into their workbooks. The workbook will also be used to check the driver’s schedule and training. Students can only graduate when they have completed 82 hours of driving time.
Drivers should have regular or familiar routes. While the cubbing program helps new drivers get acquainted with daily operations and the routes they may take over, it might not make a difference in some cases. In some severe Greyhound accidents, the drivers had never driven those routes. They were given hand maps and written instructions when they brought these issues to dispatch. The lack of instruction led to the drivers getting lost several times. It may have also contributed to collisions. At a minimum, the lack of familiarity with routes caused the drivers severe stress.
The NTSB suggests that Greyhound design a better process for route directions. They must ensure that drivers get directions that are up-to-date and comprehensive. It should be a company-wide standard. Drivers must be familiar with where they are driving to eliminate stress, getting lost, and the possibility that they are faced with a hazard they cannot avoid. Otherwise, the risk is high for a Greyhound bus accident.
The NTSB has many concerns regarding driver training. The biggest problem is with drivers obtaining their CDLs. Greyhound should take additional steps regarding driver training. New policies can help to address these concerns. CDL licenses and training should be the standard for every driver. Test scores should be considered for remedial training as well.
When drivers are training, they should get specialized geographic cub training. This means they should get behind-the-wheel training to drive during conditions they may face on their route. Suppose there are mountainous regions around; drivers should have supervised directions on operating in these regions. Drivers should also be trained to handle inclement weather or traffic congestion.
Another policy Greyhound is urged to implement is for drivers to report if they are impaired or have not gotten enough sleep. Any other reason they are unfit for duty should be noted, allowing the driver to turn down a driving assignment. Drivers should have a life outside of work, but what they do off-duty should not mean life-altering consequences on duty.
When the NTSB gave these recommendations to Greyhound, the company considered them and made some changes. The new driver certification program changes were implemented and resolved in 1992 to an acceptable standard. The same goes for the cubbing concerns, route directions, and new company policies. While all these changes were implemented in 1992, about three decades ago, some of these issues are still prevalent and factor into bus accidents. Greyhound bus accidents are possible in Las Vegas and throughout the state.
If you are riding a Greyhound for any reason, you might be concerned that you have few options if a collision happens, but that is not the case. While the NTSB has suggested and followed up on these changes, they are still handling Greyhound bus accident investigations from time to time. For accident victims, these investigations show evidence that there is negligence to some degree.
Among the most common reasons NTSB cites as contributing to or directly causing bus accidents are driver error and fatigue. That has led to Greyhound implementing new ways to manage driver fatigue. The more tools they use, the more evidence there is for an insurance claim. They can present the evidence against you, while your Las Vegas Greyhound bus accident lawyer will present the evidence to show negligence. Upon proving negligence, we will work towards garnering compensation.
The NTSB’s suggestions and regulations can only go so far. Implementing them and following through are very different. While Greyhound can change their policies, they might not follow through or ignore them for their benefit. Companies like Greyhound will often only have these policies to stay in operation, but they urge their drivers to do something else.
Cloward Trial Lawyers understands the challenges that come from Greyhound bus accidents. You can schedule a consultation with our Las Vegas Greyhound bus accident lawyer by calling (702) 602-8266 or using our contact form.
In 2016, at the age of 37, Benjamin P. Cloward became the youngest lawyer in the history of the State of Nevada to be awarded the prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Nevada Justice Association. That same year, he became the youngest member of the Nevada, Las Vegas Chapter of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates), and at the time was also the youngest person in the State of Nevada to be Board Certified as a Personal Injury Specialist.
Practice areas: personal injury, car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, Greyhound bus accidents, and walk-in tub accidents.
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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