You may have heard about several recent high-profile bus accidents throughout the country, like the big one in California that killed 7.
Well, it’s that time of year again when residents throughout the U.S. look to take a much-needed vacation. Luckily, our economy thrives off of these trips — bringing visitors to Disney World, some of our Indian casinos and many of the other attractions in South Florida. Many of us Floridians even use these buses to get to where we’ve got to go as part of a group, or a daytrip.
Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys understand that many are looking to save some cash on their next vacation, but skimping on travel accommodations is not the way to do it. Whether you’re looking to purchase a personal bus ticket or you’re hiring a busing company for group travel, it’s important that you keep safety as your number one priority.
Officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offer you some things to consider before choosing a bus company.
Consider the following when planning a Bus Trip:
-Make sure you check the company’s safety performance. This can be found on the FMCSA website. You have to remember that the cheapest company isn’t always going to have the best safety ratings.
-Look at their safety rating — also found on the FMCSA website. You want to make sure that they have a top rating. Remember that satisfactory is the top rating and a final unsatisfactory rating means that they shouldn’t even be in operation. Consider these ratings before choosing a company.
-Make sure that the company has the right to be operating and it’s carrying the proper insurance. Busing companies that charge a fee to provide insurance for customers must obtain operating authority from the FMCSA. If there are more than 15 passengers, then the company is required to have at least a $5 million insurance policy.
-Check out the latest consumer complaints. File one if you’ve got one. You can do this by calling 1-888-DOT-SAFT or by visiting the FMCSA website.
-Ask around and talk to friends. See what companies they’ve used and how their experience went. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to help you to decide which company to choose.
“Make the choice to put safety first! Every trip, every time” –FMCSA.
In 2008, there were less than 850,000 buses registered in the U.S. During this time, there were 11,000 injury accidents reported among buses. In these accidents, there were close to 25,000 people injured. Do your homework before choosing a company to book your next trip.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a South Florida bus accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Resolve to Avoid Pedestrian and Bike Accidents in 2013, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 1, 2013
Alligator Alley Presents Significant Risks for Motorists, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 25, 2013