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Avoiding Rhode Island motorcoach crashes

Karns & Kerrison

Hiring a motorcoach company may be a great way to go on vacation or travel for an event without having the hassle of having to drive there. However, it is important to choose wisely when selecting a motorcoach company. For instance, a reputable company will be registered with the Department of Transportation and carry at least $5 million in liability insurance. Travelers may ask to see a company's MCS-90 form to ensure that proper coverage is maintained.

Reputable companies will also follow the law as it relates to how many hours their drivers can stay behind the wheel. The law requires a driver to take at least eight hours off if he or she has spent 10 hours driving or has been on duty for 15 hours. Drivers may not work more than 60 hours in a seven-day span or 70 hours in an eight-day span.

Those who contract with a motorcoach company that does not follow the law could be held liable if an accident occurs. Therefore, it is recommended that customers do not solely consider price when they choose a motorcoach company to contract with. Furthermore, it is recommended that customers consult with the company that they choose to find out if drivers or equipment are subcontracted. If they are, it is important to find out if the subcontract is reputable as well.

A tired driver or a faulty vehicle may increase the likelihood of a motorcoach crash. If a crash does occur, those who are injured in that crash may take legal action. Compensation received from a civil suit may assist with medical bills incurred, lost wages if injured parties missed work and possible punitive damages due to driver negligence.

Source: American Bus Association, "Before You Hire a Motorcoach Company What You Need to Know", November 24, 2014

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