Articles Posted in Mass Transit Accidents

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PrintThe National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) recently unveiled its 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. This list, which details the most important safety issues to be addressed in 2016, focuses on 10 broad safety improvements that the NTSB has previously recommended, but which have not yet been implemented. One of the top items on the list is the fight to prevent fatigue-related truck accidents.

According to the NTSB, in a recent survey performed by AAA of highway vehicles, over 43% of participants reported falling asleep at the wheel or nodding off while driving at least once in their lifetime; and a 2010 AAA study estimated that one out of every six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents is the result of drowsy driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (“NHTSA”) Administrator recently announced at the “Asleep at the Wheel” program in November that between 5,000 and 7,000 fatalities occur annually in the United States.

Among the recommendations issued by the NTSB to combat this problem, is equipping all interstate commercial vehicle carriers with electronic logging devices that collect data on driver hours of service in a valid, accurate, and secure manner to enable the carriers and their regulators to monitor and assess hours-of-service compliance. The NTSB also recommends that companies establish fatigue risk management programs which includes policies or practices to address scheduling, attendance, education, medical screening and treatment, personal responsibility during non-work periods, task/workload issues, rest environments, and commuting and/or napping. According to the NTSB’s press release on the topic, “[u]ltimately, fatigue-related accidents can be avoided with a combination of science-based regulations, comprehensive fatigue risk management programs, and individual responsibility.”

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For many, the winter holiday season means family gatherings and a resultant increase in bus tickets, to get college students home. We here at Bottar Leone, PLLC wish everyone a happy holiday and take this opportunity to ask our readers to be careful when traveling to see loved ones this year.

Recently, a motor coach owned and operated by Abbott Trailways was involved in an accident in Richmond Virginia. The motor coach was chartered to take students at Virginia Tech and Radford University back to their campuses after the Thanksgiving weekend, when it overturned. Thirty-three passengers were injured – thirty-two of which were non-life threatening and one reported as “critical.” According to state police, speed was a factor in the bus overturning, and the driver was charged with reckless driving. He was subsequently suspended from his duties.

This news story illustrates how important bus safety is. If you or someone you know was injured in an accident on, or with a bus, you should contact the Firm. The aid of an experienced lawyer can be invaluable in receiving compensation for your injuries.

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Earlier today, two CSX employees abandoned a moving locomotive just seconds before a collision with another train. The New York train crash occurred in Dewitt, near Court Street. According to Syracuse.com, witnesses reported that it felt like an “earthquake” when the trains collided. Several cars derailed.

New York train accidents are more common than one would think. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) database, CSX has been involved in more than 80 accidents since 2008. The majority of these accidents were due to track switches that were improperly aligned. Per the FRA, other causes of CSX train accidents include the use of excessive horsepower, human factors (i.e., human errors), improper instruction, defective equipment and fouled tracks.

“We have handled several train accident cases over the past decade,” said Syracuse personal injury lawyer Michael A. Bottar, Esq. “Each case has involved negligence on the part of the railroad, e.g., ignoring warnings about pedestrians crossing the tracks, speeding, improper track maintenance, and failing to use appropriate signal lights and warning devices.” Cases against the railroad are complicated because evidence necessary to establish railroad liability frequently goes missing. Things like speed tapes, event recorders and dispatch or inspection records quickly vanish. Bottar added, “a review of published court decisions reveals that several motions against railroads for the destruction of evidence. This pattern of behavior is suspicious, to say the least.”
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