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Chattanooga Crash is a Tragic Reminder of the Dangers of Bus Accidents

November 27, 2016

Chattanooga School Bus Tragedy is a Somber Reminder of the Dangers Posed to Bus Passengers in the Event of an Accident

In the wake of two fatal bus accidents in the last two months – one in California that left over a dozen people dead and a school bus accident in Chattanooga, Tennessee that killed six children – People magazine, parents, passengers, and legislators alike are all revisiting a decades-old question: Should school buses and commercial buses be equipped with seatbelts?

Despite recent statements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that seat belts can reduce bus accident deaths, it is rare to see any bus equipped with appropriate safety restraints. Very few states have passed (and funded) legislation mandating seat belts on school buses, and even though as of 2016 new motor coaches must be equipped with seat belts, the regulation does not require existing commercial buses or public transit buses to be retrofitted with seat belts. This means that bus passengers – school children and adults alike – who ride buses are at risk of suffering serious injuries every time they take their seats.

Serious – even Fatal – Injuries are Not Uncommon in Bus Crashes

A bus passenger can easily be lulled into a false sense of security and safety because of the large size and considerable mass of a typical bus. This sense of security persists even if the bus is not equipped with safety restraints. However, bus accident victims can suffer many of the same types of injuries that occupants of passenger cars can suffer in a crash, including, among others:

Traumatic brain injuries and head injuries resulting from passengers striking their heads against other parts of the bus or from luggage and carry-on bags stored in overhead compartments falling and striking passengers on the head;
Broken ribs and bones that can result from passengers being thrown about the interior of the passenger compartment and striking parts of the bus's structure, such as seatbacks;
• Second- and third-degree burns if the bus catches on fire as a result of the crash and passengers are not able to free themselves in time;
Cuts and lacerations, as many commercial buses have large windows that can shatter during a violent crash; and/or
Crushing injuries, such as the crushing-type injuries suffered by those killed in the recent California bus crash.

What To Do After a Bus Crash

In the aftermath of a bus crash, it is easy to feel disoriented and confused. Remember to attend to your own physical health and safety before assisting others who might be injured in the crash. If attempting to move causes you pain, try to remain still until emergency crews arrive unless remaining stationary jeopardizes your safety. It is always advisable to seek prompt medical evaluation of your physical condition by an emergency medical technician or other qualified medical professional so that any latent injuries are identified and treated in a timely manner.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia bus accident and believe that another person's negligence may be to blame for the crash, contact our Georgia bus accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps are necessary to protect your rights. Our firm has over 38 years of experience in representing bus accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free:   1 (800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.