It’s no surprise Houstonians must do a lot of driving in order to traverse the sprawling city. At any given moment, there are millions of drivers on Houston roads, which is reason enough for citizens to utilize the limited public transportation options the city has to offer. Houstonians who choose to ride on METRO transportation, such as METRO buses and the METRO Lightrail, may be surprised to find they still face the odds of being involved in a serious auto accident even while on public transportation.
Historically, Houston has not been the face of public transportation. As our city quickly grew, the options for public transportation dwindled, leaving drivers unaccustomed to sharing the road with public transportation and vice versa. While the federal government requires public transportation owners and operators to comply with safety guidelines and regulations, it does not necessarily follow that such regulations are practiced.
Common Causes of METRO Accidents
We’ve all been on the road when a large METRO bus suddenly stops or moves into our lane. Unmatched against the size of their vehicles, passenger vehicle drivers have little option but to comply with the actions of the bus driver. Far too often, METRO bus drivers exercise a sense of entitlement, which puts others drivers and their passengers’ lives at risk. Below we list some of the most common causes of METRO accidents:
In addition to the daily occurrence of a METRO bus demanding a lane, most Houstonians have witnessed a broken down bus at one point or another. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of METRO transit accidents. Whether it is faulty brakes on a bus or light rail, a track issue, or another defect, public transportation unable to run properly quickly turns into a public safety hazard.
While most riders of public transportation would assume its drivers have been adequately vetted for their positions, that is not always the case. It’s scary to think individuals with concerning driving records could operate the public transportation you’re riding on, however, it is a reality. When drivers’ backgrounds are not properly looked into, the lives of those riding on public transport – as well as those who share the road – are at risk. Driving record background checks identify dangerous driving patterns, such as speeding, failure to control a vehicle, and driving intoxicated or under the influence.
In addition to those with an offensive driving history, distracted drivers also put the lives of everyone on the road at risk. Larger vehicles require greater attention to the road, as their size and weight directly impact their ability to stop suddenly or swerve to miss striking an object on the road. Individuals who pursue careers in public transit have a responsibility to safely pick up and drop off passengers without endangering anyone or causing unnecessary traffic incidents. The negligence of METRO drivers has caused, and sadly will continue to cause, accidents involving pedestrians and drivers; when this happens the lines on who is at fault can be blurred by resistance from transit authorities.
Lack of Safety Features
The majority of public transit does not offer passengers standard safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, giving even a minor accident increased potential for grave injuries. In addition to passengers being without adequate protection from even minor accidents, many METRO vehicles are without emergency exits, which prevents passengers from escaping danger should their vehicle be involved in a serious collision.
Who is at Fault?
Accidents involving major public transportation systems can be catastrophic both in terms of injuries sustained as well as cost. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a METRO bus or light rail, it is likely that medical bills, your insurance deductible, and property damage costs have added up quickly. With accidents involving METRO vehicles, it is not uncommon for transit authorities to attempt to dodge responsibility for accidents and the associated costs incurred. Corporations and their insurance carriers often take unnecessary measures to avoid liability for the damages caused during accidents. For victims, this means unnecessary pain and long, drawn out legal battles that can result in settlements that do not reflect the severity of the accident.
Experienced METRO accident attorneys, such as the team at Adame Garza, are well versed in identifying and dealing with the tactics used to avoid responsibility by transit authority officials and their legal teams. Our personal injury trial attorneys will fight for the compensation you need to move on and get better.
Those involved in a METRO-related accident should only have to focus on healing and not spend their energy fighting government companies who put profits over passenger safety. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a METRO vehicle, you do not have to fight for justice on your own. Filing claims against companies like METRO is notorious for being difficult and unfair, which is why a qualified attorney is necessary to ensure you will be justly compensated for your accident. We can guide you through every step of the process and put your mind at ease so you can focus on recovering. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.