Rollover accidents can be deadly for motorists and passengers in South Carolina, especially collisions involving top-heavy vehicles like buses and motor coaches. When rollovers occur, they can cause brain or spinal cord damage as well as fatal injuries.
To reduce the risk to bus passengers, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new regulations that would alter the structural design of large buses. The proposal would change the design to ensure that the space around bus passengers would remain intact when a rollover collision occurs. The design changes would also ensure that emergency exits on motor coaches remain accessible even when a bus tips.
The new proposed regulation can be viewed in the Federal Registrar and there is a 60-day period in which members of the public have the ability to comment. If the new rule goes into effect, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would allow three years for companies to comply with the new design requirements.
Passengers injured in rollover collisions need to get help as soon as possible after an injury occurs in order to recover compensation for losses. If you or a loved one is harmed in a South Carolina bus crash, it is prudent to consult with a Charleston accident lawyer to consider taking legal action against a negligent or careless driver.
New Regulations to Reduce Rollover Accident Risk
The DOT reports that people in the U.S. take around 700 million trips on commercial buses every year. Making motor coaches more durable and better able to withstand rollover accidents could have a major impact on saving hundreds of lives and preventing thousands of injuries.
The proposed standard would establish new performance requirements for buses and motor coaches that are closely modeled after regulations already in effect in Europe. Each large bus would be required to meet the standards in a dynamic test when the bus is tipped over from a raised platform down onto a hard, level surface. The standards will require that the bus:
- Retain sufficient space around occupants’ seating positions to maximize survival in the event that the bus rolls over
- Seats, overhead luggage racks and window glazing remain attached to their mountings
- Emergency exits remain closed during the test as the bus rolls but operable to provide an escape from a vehicle after the test
These regulations are aimed specifically at increasing survival if a rollover accident happens. The DOT is also working on regulations—which will be released later this year—that will alter the stability transaction control technologies in order to make rollovers less likely to occur in the first place.
While these changes should hopefully make a significant difference in saving lives, ultimately the safety of passengers is dependent upon motor coach drivers knowing about the high risks of rollovers and operating their vehicles in a safe and responsible way. If a motor coach driver is negligent, victims can pursue a claim for compensation not only against the driver but also against the company that employs the driver. Call a bus accident lawyer at Howell Law for help making a damage claim.