In a series of ongoing posts, our blog has been discussing how those electing to utilize the services of one of the nation's more than 4,000 registered bus carriers should always conduct the necessary research, as cheaper isn't always better or safer.
Indeed, we've explored two of three steps recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to help prospective bus passengers ensure safe travels. In today's post, we'll explore the final step: planning a safe trip.
At this time of the year, preparations for summer trips and events are being made by everyone from sports teams and youth camps to schools and church groups. These preparations will undoubtedly include making travel arrangements by bus given the cost prohibitive nature of flying.
The FMCSA indicates, however, that those groups planning these long-distance bus trips -- particularly those necessitating consecutive hours of driving -- take the time to learn a bit more about the federal hours-of-service regulations governing interstate motorcoach drivers.
These FMSCA rules dictate the following:
- Interstate motorcoach drivers are not permitted to be behind the wheel for over 10 consecutive hours.
- Interstate motorcoach drivers are not permitted to be behind the wheel after being "on duty" for 60 hours during any seven consecutive days (provided the bus carrier doesn't operate every day of the week) or 70 hours during any eight consecutive days (provided the bus carrier does operate every day of the week).
What this essentially means is that any group planning a bus trip that falls within these parameters will want to take steps to confirm that the bus carrier they are using provides the necessary backup drivers.
Always remember that you can seek justice if you suffer serious personal injuries or lose a loved one in a bus accident attributable to the negligent practices of a bus company or bus driver.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Top 3 things to know when planning your next bus trip," Nov. 26, 2014