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World-class cities like Chicago and smaller outlying communities all rely on public transportation systems to safely help millions of people get back and forth from work, school, and shopping every year. While most of the time public transportation runs smoothly, when accidents do occur, many people may be injured, or even killed.
NTSB Report Points Out Train and Bus Operator Safety Lapses
Just like with auto accidents, train or bus accidents have many causes. According to NTSB crash reports, some of the most common causes include:
In a recent Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) crash, the train operator admitted to dozing off and was found to have worked an excessive number of night shifts without an adequate amount of rest. Crashes in other parts of the country have involved drivers or operators who were distracted by smartphones or even unruly passengers. Buses or trains operating faster than posted speeds have in past years injured hundreds of passengers.
Just like automobile drivers, operators of public transportation buses and trains have to not only obey the law, but they must also be diligent in operating their vehicles in a safe manner.
What Happens When a Public Transportation Employee is Negligent?
Public transportation systems are responsible for making sure their passengers arrive at their destinations safely. When someone is injured because an employee, including a train or bus operator, fails to obey a safety rule, the agency is responsible. Even if operators do not explicitly break a rule, but they fail to operate the vehicle in a safe manner, the public transportation agency is accountable for the actions of its employees.
Sometimes agencies fail to create systems that foster safety or they may neglect to properly train all of their employees. Failure to properly create a safe environment and the individual negligence of public transportation employees are critical matters because of the serious injuries that may occur when an accident happens.
While not every injury that happens on public transportation is the fault or responsibility of an agency like the CTA, anyone who has been injured in a public transportation crash needs to speak with a qualified attorney to make sure their rights are protected. If you or a loved one has been involved in a public bus or train accident, contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury lawyer right away to discuss your case. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule your consultation today.