A charter bus returning from an unofficial school trip struck an overpass on the New Jersey Turnpike on April 9th, 2018. The bus was traveling on Long Island when the driver failed to account for the low clearances in the area. The top of the bus was sheared off, leaving dozens of teenagers injured and terrified by what was happening around them. The driver was commercially licensed but not experienced in the locale but was using a non-commercial grade GPS that fails to provide information on clearances. Using proper equipment is an important first step in safety, but equipment alone will not keep you safe.
Being familiar with the area is important for professional drivers. There are a number of factors that come into play dependent upon when and where a vehicle is traveling. In this circumstance, the clearances on overpasses are often lower on the Turnpike than on otherwise similar roads. When these differences are not taken into account, accidents happen. Different jurisdictions have different rules for Commercial Driver’s Licenses, making chartering a bus a frightening endeavor, as determining the level of training any given driver has undergone can be difficult. Taking the time to ask questions about the experience level of the company’s drivers can drastically reduce the risk of an accident occurring. Making sure that the bus company requires the use of commercial-grade GPS is also important.
A full investigation is taking place, and the passengers are being interviewed, but it will take time to determine whether any corners were being cut by the charter company. If you or someone you love has been injured in a transportation accident, getting the answers you need can be difficult. Whether going up against a company or seeking answers from a municipality, having a qualified attorney to fight for you can make all the difference in making your case.