In his second installment about “Bus Lag” in National Bus Trader magazine, Transportation Alternatives President Ned Einstein cited yet another accident where a motorcoach was involved in a catastrophic accident, yet where its driver did not violate a single element of the Hours-of-Service Regulations – demonstrated once again their uselessness in preventing motorcoach accidents. This coach’s passengers’ fares were fully paid for by the casino – in return for the driver spending his nighttime, off-duty hours making sure that his passengers spent their time at the slot machines rather than in their rooms, sleeping. After babysitting them all night, and then taking them to yet another casino in the morning for five more hours of gambling, the driver began his five-hour return trip where, less than an hour before its termination, he fell sound asleep at the wheel and, speeding over a construction zone at 55 mph barely five feet ahead of him the queue of vehicles in front of them was forced to stop short, and he rear-ended the fellow 45,000-lb. motorcoach the sleeping driver was tailgating. Altogether, the driver’s first trip involved only five hours, with nine hours off-duty (which he spent fully awake babysitting his passengers), one short single-hour trip from 8 to 9 AM, and five hours later, the final, five-hour trip home. The article about this accident may be viewed in its entirety at www.transalt.com – scroll down on the Home Page to “Articles and Publications by Ned Einstein,” click, and scroll to the links titled “Bus Lag, Part 2: On Duty, Driving and Sound Asleep,” (http://www.transalt.com/article/bus-lag-part-2-duty-driving-and-sound-asleep), or read it in hard-copy form in the October, 2014 issue of National Bus Trader magazine.
This article involve a number of elements that often combine to contribute to bus lag:
- Motorcoach operations
- Charter service
- Use of Manual Driver’s Logs
- Driver assignment
- Driver/motorist fatigue
A short essay about “Fatigue and Catastrophic Accidents” may be viewed at www.transalt.com: Click on the link “Common Accident and Incident Scenarios” on the Home Page, scroll down to the link titled “Fatigue and Catastrophic Accidents” (or enter http://www.transalt.com/content/fatigue-and-catastrophic-accidents).