Bus Crash Caused by Distracted Driving

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that last year’s fatal tour bus accident near Dolan Springs, Ariz. was caused by the driver being distracted by his manipulation of the driver’s side door as he was traveling about 70 mph. As the driver attended to the door, the vehicle drifted out of its lane. The driver then made an abrupt steering maneuver to correct the drift resulting in a loss of directional control of the medium-sized bus.

On January 30, 2009 a 29-passenger bus, operated by DW Tour and Charter and carrying passengers crashed on a return trip from Grand Canyon West to Las Vegas. Seven passengers were killed, and nine passengers and the driver sustained minor to serious injuries. In its investigation the NTSB found that other factors, in addition to the driver’s failure to maintain control of his vehicle, contributed to the accident and its severity.

The vehicle was not equipped with a lane departure warning system. This device would have been alerted upon the initial drift from the driving lane. Further, a stability control system, already widely used in automobiles, could have reduced the likelihood of the driver losing control of the bus.

A synopsis of the Board’s report, including the probable cause, conclusions, and recommendations, is available on the NTSB’s website.

Tour buses are often used in Arkansas by groups and churches. It is important that the bus companies provide safe drivers and safe buses. Unfortunately, serious and catastrophic injuries can occur in bus accidents in Arkansas. If you or a family member would like to speak with an Arkansas bus accident attorney, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm today.

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