If you take the bus every day, it can be pretty taxing for those few minutes you need to ride it, but imagine yourself as a bus driver. You drive the same routes for hours on end for increasingly longer hours on a meager paycheck. It sounds pretty tiring, right? Well that fatigue that is wearing on your bus driver is actually one of the biggest threats to your personal safety. When a fatigued bus driver is behind the wheel of a fully loaded bus, it is almost as dangerous as trying to jaywalk across a busy street in Los Angeles.
How can fatigue effect performance?
Studies have shown that the longer you are awake, the more your mind begins to deteriorate and perform worse when focusing on driving-related tasks. After being awake for 13 hours, fatigue is manageable, but after 17 hours, you perform driving-related tasks at the equivalent of a 0.05% blood-alcohol level. After 23 hours of being awake, you perform akin to being legally drunk.
But why don't bus drivers just go to sleep?
Many bus drivers do get adequate time off, but many companies want to hire less bus drivers and force the employees they do have to work longer hours. As most need the money, they comply. In a recent case against a bus driver in New York that suffered a serious crash that killed four and injured 50, he stated that he had complained of fatigue to his superiors at work prior to the crash, but they had forced him to continue to work or risk losing his job.
Unfortunately, bus driver fatigue is as dangerous as it is difficult to prevent. If you have suffered a bus accident in the Los Angeles area that you believe was due to bus driver fatigue, contact us today to see if you are entitled to legal recourse.