Motorcoach

Report: Driver fatigue top cause of motorcoach accidents

Posted on June 16, 2011

In response to a string of tragic intercity bus accidents this year, "Sudden Death Overtime," a new report highlighting driver fatigue as the single largest cause of these fatal bus crashes, was released by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The ATU also renewed their call for Congress to address driver fatigue as part of the bus safety legislation currently under consideration in Washington, D.C.

According to the report, the National Transportation Safety Board estimates that 36 percent of motorcoach crash fatalities over the past decade have been due to driver fatigue. It is the number one cause of fatal accidents, far above road conditions (2 percent) or inattention (6 percent).

"Hundreds of intercity bus companies — usually tiny operations that have only a few buses — get away with paying their bus drivers criminally low wages," said International President of the ATU Lawrence J. Hanley. "As a result, bus drivers are being forced to work 100 hours a week or more, often balancing two or three jobs, just to make a living. The unsuspecting customers get on these buses and disaster can strike."

In response to the series of fatal bus crashes this year, Congress introduced The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011, led in the Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in the House. While the bill makes some long-overdue and important changes to regulations in the industry, it does not include a specific proposal to address driver fatigue.

"At the end of the day, technical fixes like seatbelts and driver training — while incredibly important — won't prevent crashes so long as drivers aren't stopped from getting behind the wheel on zero sleep," said Hanley. "Any serious proposal to clean up the discount bus industry unequivocally has to include a solution for driver fatigue."

Hanley and the ATU are calling on Congress to include an amendment to The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2011 that would ensure that the overtime provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act are applied to bus drivers for these companies. Currently, intercity bus drivers are exempt from these provisions and many are forced to work second jobs during their so-called "rest period" just to make ends meet. Under the ATU's proposed reforms, drivers would get paid fairly for the work they put in above 40 hours per week, making them less inclined to work other jobs while pushing their bodies to the limit. 

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Co. launches group transportation booking platform for motorcoach industry

ProntoRes enables group travel planners to book, manage, track and pay all group transportation services online from the web portal mobile app.

Ramblin Express adds Van Hool CX35 coaches to fleet

The Denver-based company operates a casino shuttle program and a charter business. 

DATTCO celebrates driver's 40th Anniversary, 3.5M miles accident-free

During an informal ceremony, Mark Sullivan was surrounded by colleagues who took turns sharing memories from the past four decades.

MCI to deliver 11 more Commuter Coaches to Connecticut DOT

The original 2017 five-year agreement covers up to 112 MCI 45-foot, clean diesel-powered Commuter Coaches.

REV Coach to manage Setra’s after-sales services in North America

With this step, the transition of the North American Setra bus business from MCI to REV Coach is complete.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close