Commuting by way of bus, trolley, train, or subway is generally a safe way to travel since the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has many safety regulations in place; however, accidents do occur that put SEPTA passengers in danger. When an accident does occur, it is important to find out the cause of the crash.
Although there are many reasons that accidents take place, the majority of SEPTA accidents occur due to negligence, such as:
Operator negligence. SEPTA drivers have a duty to be careful and keep their passengers safe; however, drivers have been known to behave carelessly and engage in distracted driving from time to time. When SEPTA drivers are distracted by their phones, passengers, or food, they can make critical mistakes that can put their passengers at risk. Distracted driving isn’t the only way SEPTA drivers put their passengers in danger; drowsy driving is also a serious risk to passengers aboard SEPTA vehicles. When drivers are tired, they generally make poor decisions, lack proper judgment, and suffer from altered vision. Additionally, speeding has also been an area of concern, especially for passengers aboard buses, trolleys and trains who are riding without seat belts. When drivers operate vehicles at high speeds—even five or ten miles over the posted speed limit—it can mean the difference between a minor and major catastrophic accident.
Crosswalk negligence by drivers. Many pedestrians have been injured and killed as a result of bus drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians. It isn’t uncommon for bus drivers to fail to see pedestrians in crosswalks when they are making turns. This is because buses have large mirrors that cause blind spots and block a driver’s vision for several seconds. Additionally, pedestrians walking on the sidewalks have been injured in “knockdown accidents” when bus mirrors strike them, since bus mirrors extend over curbs.
Negligence by operators of other vehicles. Drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles and SUVs can also contribute to SEPTA accidents. When other drivers get behind the wheel of their vehicles drunk, drowsy, or distracted, they can suffer from altered judgment and lack safe decision making skills that are critical in avoiding crashes on the road. As a result, they may crash into SEPTA vehicles—causing passengers to suffer injuries while riding on buses and trolleys that are involved in such accidents.
Defective parts and poor maintenance. Buses, trolleys, subways and trains are operated on and maintained regularly to prevent dangerous situations from arising. However, sometimes the work isn’t done right or isn’t done at all, and the lack of proper maintenance can cause an accident, resulting in serious injuries. Additionally, parts can be defective, lights can fail to work, and train crossing gates can malfunction. These are all dangerous conditions that can result in traumatic injuries that can lead to lifelong consequences for SEPTA passengers.
Lack of property maintenance. Accidents on SEPTA premises can occur due to property negligence. When dangerous conditions exist on train platforms or at bus stations, accidents can happen that cause injuries and even death to passengers waiting for SEPTA vehicles. For example, a train platform may be old and improperly maintained. Consequently, it gives way and a passenger falls to the train tracks. Unfortunately, a number of accidents have occurred because SEPTA has cut corners and failed to properly maintain its premises.
The Reality of SEPTA Accidents
If you suffered a back injury, broken bones, head trauma, or other serious injury aboard a SEPTA bus, train, trolley, or subway—or even as a pedestrian—you may have a valid claim for your injuries and losses. Unfortunately, SEPTA doesn’t make it easy for you to get the financial compensation you deserve—even for families who have lost loved ones in SEPTA accidents. This is why it is important to have an attorney on your side who can investigate the cause of the crash.
At Gibbons Legal, we have handled a wide range of public transportation accidents, and know what it takes to stand up to SEPTA and get injured victims the just compensation they deserve. Please take a look at our SEPTA case results and call us at 215-569-1455 to schedule your free consultation.