What causes a car crash? It can be anything—distracted driving, driving under the influence, a faulty car component, or even simply driver incompetence. In one particular case, the cause of the crash was definitely unusual: bad road markings. In January 2016, a Greyhound bus slammed directly into a concrete barrier while running at a high speed. The impact caused 2 deaths, and a dozen other passengers were hurt. The driver was injured as well. These types of things are scary, thats why as San Diego car accident lawyers, we decided to explain this phenomenon.
After a thorough investigation by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), it was concluded that the bus crash was caused by inadequate lane markings on the road. According to NTSB officials, there were no proper reflective warning markers before a gore point which separated the 101 from the carpool lane connector to Highway 85.
The absence of proper markings made the bus driver think that the bus was in the connector lane, when it was really heading directly towards the concrete barrier. The NTSB report stated that the gore should have been properly marked with chevrons and stripes so that it would have stood out from the roadway.
Other experts say that the concrete barrier should have been easily seen even in bad weather, but it wasn’t. The crash occurred in the early morning hours so it may not have been light enough for the driver to see the concrete barrier clearly.
Some other experts also believe that had the bus occupants been wearing their seatbelts properly, there would have been fewer injuries and fatalities. Passengers also said that the driver was tired, and that he drank coffee at a stop about 20 minutes before the crash.
Who is to Blame For the Accident?
It is possible that in this case, more than one party can be held responsible for the crash and resulting injuries and deaths. Caltrans is the government agency that’s in charge of the state highway maintenance. The NTSB recommended that Caltrans should improve the visibility of roadway elements, with more signage and with more visible and tactile road markers for the gore.
It’s also possible to conclude that Greyhound is partly to blame. The NTSB report stated that Greyhound needs to supervise its drivers better, and that on its vehicles the use of seatbelts should be better enforced. If you ever witness and accident like this and know someone who is involved, make sure to call a San Diego bus accident lawyer to discuss your options.
Consulting a Lawyer to Identify Liable Parties
This case exemplifies the truism that it’s not always easy to say who is to blame for a car crash. It may have been apparent that the bus driver was solely to blame upon first glance, but a deeper investigation showed that the improper gore markings were mainly the cause of the crash. It also showed that more than one party can be liable for a crash.
If you’re involved in a car or bus accident, your best option is to consult with a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you identify the liable parties, and if it is warranted you can file suit against them so you can receive compensatory damages that can help cover your medical expenses and lost wages.