When we read about bus crashes, they always seem catastrophic. Grievous injuries and wrongful death attend them. The reasons are fairly obvious. Enormous vehicles, filled with unrestrained passengers, being operated by a single driver.

It is inevitable that bus drivers are sometimes a little too tired or a little too stressed to get to their destination in a hurry.
The results are horrible for their passengers and even more gruesome for those vehicles with which they collide.

So how do we reduce the carnage of commercial bus crashes in Maryland, The District of Columbia and nationwide?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has some ideas.

First, mandatory sealbelts. It seems hard to believe but in this age of required seat belt use, buses/motorcoaches are not required to have them. Second, prohibition of bus drivers using their cell phones while driving. We know from the post-June 22nd coverage of Washington's Metro system that bus drivers in Maryland, The District of Columbia and Virginia, have been seen texting and using their cell phones while driving.

Third, improved rollover roof strength, improved fire safety and better emergency egress.

There are also proposed on-board monitoring systems to enable better detection of driver fatigue or intoxication. Doubtless, the bus companies will resist these measures suggesting prohibitive costs and no effect on safety.
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