by: Daniel S. Chamberlain, Attorney
MegaBus, a regional passenger bus carrier based out of Chicago, crashed this morning south of Indianapolis. Numerous serious injuries were reported. MegaBus operates as six separate entities spread across the United States, but also touts an international presence in Canada and Europe. The Chicago based affiliate operates 42 behemoth double decker buses soaring over 13 feet in the air, with a passenger capacity of 81 people.
At any one time, Federal Motor Carrier Safety statistics reveal that MegaBus Chicago employs 140 drivers many of whom have been deemed out of service, meaning that they are not qualified to drive the double decker buses. The troubling part is that the national average for driver’s removed from the operators seat is 5.5%, meaning that MegaBus has apparently done a poor job in screening, hiring, training and monitoring its drivers. Reports show that some MegaBus affiliate drivers were taken out of service for allegedly operating the vehicle while intoxicated and carrying passengers.
Dangerous and deadly crashes are nothing new to the MegaBus brand with multiple crashes reported, including at least one death and serious injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a minimum of $5,000,000.00 of insurance coverage for buses transporting over 15 passengers. Since MegaBus transports up to 81 passengers on its double decker buses, that would be a per capita payout of $61,728.39 per passenger injured or killed in the crash. MegaBus actually purchased an additional million dollars of insurance coverage which would yield the maximum payout to $74,074.07 per equally injured passenger.
While MegaBus bills itself as “safe, convenient, low cost” is it worth the risk to ride such a large vehicle that apparently fell over as the driver was trying to avoid another car on the interstate? One must question whether a double decker bus of this type is safe at highway speed and potentially top heavy loads on the second level of the bus, in addition to critical driver training, screening and control. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident please contact us. I have helped many clients and families with serious personal injury claims and can provide you with a no-obligation case evaluation.