Party Bus Tips Offered By Seattle Attorney

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A recent report from Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission has cast a spotlight on the somewhat sorry state of party bus regulation in Seattle and nearby environs. The personal injury lawyers of the Bernard Law Group have responded by offering tips to anyone thinking about hiring a party bus, an industry severely lacking in successful oversight.

Without the proper regulations, it’s hard to trust your driver or the company he or she works for.

They’re par for the course for bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, and even proms: party buses. On a typical weekend, it’s easy to spot one of these increasingly popular vehicles as they transport their often inebriated passengers from one location to the next.

But how safe are these buses really, and what kinds of regulations exist to ensure that operators meet a certain level of care? That’s exactly what the Utilities and Transportation Commission for the state of Washington recently sought to find out, and the results will be shocking to many citizens.

Their report, available here, discovered that Washington, and most areas of the country, fail to provide regulations focused exclusively on what could be construed as a “party bus.” Some buses could fall under the banner of a limousine, while others could be considered a charter bus; this creates a regulatory gray area that allows the rules to be bent and passengers to be put in harm’s way.

The eye-opening research also revealed that 21 people across the country died between the beginning of 2009 and August of last year, while 48 more sustained some kind of injury.

Spurred to action by this report, the Bernard Law Group has decided to help Washington citizens with tips designed to reduce the risk of injury or death associated with a party bus. Their team of personal injury lawyers, led by attorney Kirk Bernard, has been helping the victims of bus collisions and other vehicular mishaps for three decades. The burgeoning popularity of party buses has caused Mr. Bernard to speak out:

“On the one hand, we should be grateful that persons intent on consuming copious amounts of alcohol would be responsible enough to leave the driving to someone else,” said Mr. Bernard. “The problem is that safety is diminished in other ways. There’s relatively little protection during a crash, and pedestrian accident risks can be increased while disembarking. Without the proper regulations, it’s hard to trust your driver or the company he or she works for.”

The Bernard Law Group advises all persons aboard a Washington party bus to consider the following tips:

•Do Your Research- Look into the many party bus options available in Washington. The link above actually provides a list of party bus operators the Commission analyzed while putting together its report. Figure out track records and policies before signing a contract.

•Speak With The Driver- If there is going to be alcohol onboard, make sure that the driver understands he or she is not to partake. Should you get the sense that he or she has disobeyed this rule, consider contacting the police or disembarking as soon as safely possible.

•Stay Immobile While Mobile- Party buses usually don’t have the safety amenities of a typical automobile. Should the bus be involved in a collision, you don’t want to be the person who was wandering around the cabin with a beer in hand or showing off by straddling a pole. Either stay seated or stand with a hand firmly placed on a railing.

•Watch Alcohol Intake- The whole point of the party bus may be to drink alcohol, but this shouldn’t get out of control. Someone whose feet are shaky can easily take a tumble on a moving bus, and if their trajectory is toward a door or window, the results could be deadly.

•A Minor Danger- If there’s going to be alcohol onboard, persons below the age of 21 shouldn’t be. And if the bus was rented for a prom or some similar event, a parent or two should be onboard to confirm that alcohol isn’t snuck in.

•Be Careful Getting Off The Bus- Persons who have disembarked should be wary of immediately crossing the street in front of a party bus that has just dropped off passengers. The driver could suddenly pull forward, causing serious injuries to pedestrians in its way.

•There’s No Thrill In This Chase- Forgot your wallet or phone onboard? Do not chase after the bus, as doing so can lead to a serious pedestrian accident, the risk of which increases if you’re drunk. Have the bus driver’s phone number handy so it’s easy to call him or her. Otherwise, simply wait until the bus arrives to take you to the next destination.

Kirk Bernard has been protecting the rights of Washington personal injury victims for 30 years, achieving landmark court victories and settlements in the process. The Bernard Law Group provides legal representation for those injured in car crashes, bicycle collisions, workplace accidents, medical malpractice situations, defective drug incidents, premises liability cases, and more. Persons interested in a free consultation for their party bus lawsuit can click the link to visit the Bernard Law Group’s website.

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Megan Castello
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