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Bus driver fatigue to blame for fatal New York accident

Investigators of a fatal bus accident have ruled that the fatigue suffered by the bus driver played a major role in causing the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board report, which was released recently, states that the operator of the passenger bus was driving along Interstate 95 at 5:38 a.m. in New York City when the fatal accident occurred. The bus left the traveled portion of I-95 and struck a guardrail before hitting a sign post, which cut through the passenger cabin of the bus.

As a result of the accident, 17 people were killed. In addition, 17 passengers also sustained injuries varying in severity. Meanwhile, the bus operator apparently escaped major injury.

Federal investigators conducted a thorough investigation into the accident, which included examining the bus driver’s schedule and his sleep times. Through this investigation, the NTSB concluded that the bus driver had slept for only periods of three hours at a time in the 72 hours that preceded the accident. This led investigators to conclude that fatigue, combined with excess speed, were the main causes of this tragic accident.

In many cases, drivers of New York-bound buses are heavily influenced by their personal schedules to complete their trips in a time-efficient manner. In many cases, this results in drivers foregoing the proper amount of sleep each evening. As this fatal accident shows, this desire — often prompted by company orders — can have fatal consequences, leaving many to speculate about just who is responsible for allowing drivers to partake in such dangerous driving conditions.

Source: TheTrucker.com, “Driver fatigue caused 2011 bus crash that killed 17, NTSB rules,” June 5, 2012