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Bus Accidents Expert Witnesses

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Ralph Aronberg
P.E., President
13762 W. State Road 84, Suite 424
Ft. Lauderdale FL 33325
USA
phone: 954-236-6605
fax: 954-236-3327
Ralph Aronberg, P.E., has reconstructed over 1,500 accidents and has testified in over 150 jury trials, since founding the firm in 1983. He provides Expert Witness services in the areas of:
  • Traffic accident reconstruction (cars, trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians).
  • Vehicle occupant kinematics (seatbelts)
  • Biomechanics
  • Traffic engineering design (geometrics, signing, markings, signals and lighting)
  • Sight distance analysis
  • Hazardous roadway conditions
  • Work Zone Traffic Control evaluation
  • Evaluation of roadway curvature
  • Traffic signal operations
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Computerized accident reconstruction and simulation
  • Vehicle "black box" data retrieval (certified>
  • Mr. Aronberg is published in the fields of pedestrian / bicycle / motorcycle accident reconstructions, and 3 Dimensional Animations and Scientific Visualizations through the Society of Automotive Engineers. Mr. Aronberg is a Fellow member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, and certified as a Diplomat in forensic Engineering.
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    David B. Spiegler, CCM
    President
    P.O. Box 481112
    Delray Beach FL 33448-1112
    USA
    phone: 978-996-6708
    fax: 877-224-1084
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    David B. Spiegler, CCM has more than 45 years of proven experience in providing expertise across a broad spectrum of activities involving Meteorology, Climatology, and the Environment. Since the 1980s, he has provided expert analysis for more than 50 law firms and insurance companies on weather related legal and/or insurance claims. Mr. Spiegler has worked on cases in a number of states and has testified in district and superior courts, at arbitration hearings, and at environmental regulatory hearings. He has always been found to be qualified by the court.

    Mr. Spiegler's cases range from slip and fall accidents, to motor vehicle, aircraft, and boating accidents, wrongful death and homicide, as well as cases for which damage to – or loss of – property from wind , snow, heavy rain, flooding, and ocean waves occurred. For many cases, he visited the site of the event and evaluated the physical and terrain factors. For all cases, he acquired, analyzed, and interpreted the weather data, reconstructed the weather at the time and location of the event/incident and/or damage or loss, and provided expert opinion and rationale for the opinion.

    Services Offered:
  • Forensic Meteorology - build legal and insurance cases
  • Weather Industry Consulting - increases market share and profits
  • Weather and Climate Analysis - yields informed business decisions due to the impact of weather and climate
  • 5/3/2013 · Meteorology
    Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)

    5/10/2011 · Environment
    I read with interest the article by Ken Kaye on two scientist's challenge of other scientist's linking warmer oceans to more intense hurricanes (Sun-Sentinel page 1, December 13, 2007).

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    Jon Mitchell “Mitch” Jackson, Esq.
    23161 Mill Creek Drive, Suite 150
    Laguna Hills, Orange County CA 92653
    USA
    phone: 800-661-7044
    fax: 949-861-9554
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    Mitch Jackson Legal Malpractice Expert PhotoJon Mitchell “Mitch” Jackson, Esq. was admitted to the California Bar in 1986 and immediately opened up his own practice representing victims of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death.

    In 2009, Mr. Jackson was named an Orange County “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association. In 2011, he was again nominated for OCTLA “Trial Lawyer of the Year” and also nominated for the Consumer Attorneys of California for the “CAOC Street Fighter of the Year” award.

    In 2013, Mr. Jackson received the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for litigation. According to California Lawyer Magazine, the CLAY Award recognizes attorneys who have:
      "changed the law, substantially influenced public policy or the profession, or achieved a remarkable victory for a client or for the public and have made a profound impact on the law."
    His firm, Jackson & Wilson, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, an exclusive listing reserved for less than 5% of all distinguished law practices in the United States. Several earlier recognitions include Mr. Jackson being named as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” and an ability rating of 10.0 or Superb by the AVVO lawyer rating system.

    Over the past 30 years, Mr. Jackson has obtained numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. He is also a multiple time member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (membership limited to those attorneys having obtained million dollar plus verdicts and settlements). In his spare time, he has served as a Judge Pro Tem, and arbitrator with the Orange County Superior Court and attorneys fee mediator with the Orange County Bar Association.

    Mitch Jackson on Personal Injury and Wrongful Death


    Mr. Jackson is active with the local and national legal community including the Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, and National Trial Lawyers Association.

    Litigation Support - Mitch Jackson serves as an Expert Witness in Legal Malpractice cases. With decades of experience litigating Personal Injury and Wrongful Death, Mr. Jackson's opinions are unbiased and well-founded. His services are available to both Plaintiff and Defendant.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Large Truck Accidents
    • Slip and Fall Injuries
    • Spinal Cord and Paralysis Injuries
    • Animal Attacks
    • Head and Brain Injuries
    • Drowning
    • Burn Injuries
    • Boat and Watercraft Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Hazardous Products
  • Insurance Bad Faith Cases
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Railroad Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • View Mitch Jackson's Consulting Profile.
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    Gary E. Kilpatrick, PE, DFE
    President and Chief Engineering Officer
    3397 Cherrybrook Drive
    Jamestown NC 27282
    USA
    phone: 336-841-6354 (Office) 336-803-1639 (Cell)
    fax: 336-841-6375
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    Who is Kilpatrick Forensics?

    Kilpatrick Forensics is a forensic engineering firm that provides forensic engineering services for our legal and insurance clients. Mr. Kilpatrick travels throughout the United States in order to investigate motor vehicle crashes and product defects and failure claims resulting in personal injury or death. Mr. Kilpatrick is a board certified vehicle crash reconstruction engineer through the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) and is a Diplomat Forensic Engineer (DFE). He is also a part-time instructor for Northwestern University through their Center For Public Safety and is a firm believer in continuing education.

    The Mission of Kilpatrick Forensics:

    Mr. Kilpatrick’s mission is to provide to you forensic engineering services that are dedicated to the application of the art, science and methodology of engineering and the scientific method in order to answer questions of fact in the jurisprudence system to assist the trier of fact concerning motor vehicle accidents and motor vehicle product defect and failure claims. Mr. Kilpatrick utilizes his engineering knowledge, skill, experience, training and education to give you an objective professional opinion that is thorough and comprehensive, understandable and timely. He has submitted written expert reports in state and federal court and has given sworn expert testimony under oath during both deposition and trial.

    What services does Kilpatrick Forensics provide? (also see the following pages)
    • At-Scene Investigation and Evidence Mapping
    • Motor Vehicle Crash Reconstruction
    • Vehicle Crash Testing
    • Vehicle Skid Testing
    • Image, Store and Analyze a Vehicle’s Crash Data Report (CDR) stored in the EPROM circuitry of a Vehicle’s Airbag Control Module (ACM)
    • Photogrammetry Studies of Police Photographs
    • Airbag and Seat Belt Inspections
    • School Bus Crash Reconstruction
    • Tractor Trailer/Heavy Trucks Crash Reconstruction
    • Motorcycle Crash Reconstruction
    • ATV and ROHV Crash Reconstruction
    • Computer Based Dynamic Motor Vehicle Crash Simulations Videos
    • Standards of Care for Motor Vehicles
    • SAE Standards
    • National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) Regulations
    • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations
    • Product Defect and Failure Analyses
    • Machine Design and Analyses
    • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
    Who are the clients of Kilpatrick Forensics?

    Mr. Kilpatrick works with law firms, public defenders and insurance companies on civil plaintiff, civil defendant, criminal and insurance claimant cases.

    How can you contact Kilpatrick Forensics?

    Mr. Kilpatrick’s corporate office is located in Jamestown North Carolina. Visit our website at www.kilpatrickforensics.com. Please feel free to contact him any time at office at 336-841-6354 or cell phone at 336-803-1639.
    During 1990, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) with the assistance of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) published the first standard for ATVs referred to as ANSI/SVIA-1-1990. During 2001, ANSI/SVIA revised this standard referred to as standard ANSI/SVIA 1-2001. The standard was revised again during 2007 and again in 2010 and is referred to as standard ANSI/SVIA 1-2010.

    A Traffic Accident Reconstruction is a process by which an engineer determines from all available information and evidence how and why a traffic accident occurred including but not limited to pre-impact and post impact vehicular velocity vectors, pre-impact and post impact vehicular direction vectors, vehicular change in velocity (Delta-V), momentum vectors, vehicles' point of impact on the roadway, vehicular visibility by a driver, vehicular crash data retrieval reports if assessable, accident factors and causes.

    7/8/2011 · Engineering
    Quality control starts at the point of product conception and is carried all the way through to the final design and manufacture of a product.

    Some motor vehicle accidents take place during the night time hours when natural sun light is not present.

    When we drive our vehicles down the road, we are driving them at a certain velocity and direction. All vehicles have weight and mass to the order of a few hundred pounds for a motorcycle, a few thousand pounds for a large SUV or luxury car or several tons for a tractor-trailer truck. When our vehicles move at speed down the road, they create energy by virtue of their mass and forward velocity

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    Timothy W. Monsees
    Partner
    4717 Grand Avenue, Suite 820
    Kansas City MO 64112
    USA
    phone: 816-361-5555
    Timothy-Monsees-Personal-Injury-Legal-Malpractice-Expert-Photo.jpg
    Timothy W. Monsees, is a partner with the firm of Monsees & Mayer, P.C. For over 30 years, he has focused his practice on litigating complex Personal Injury cases.

    Background - Mr. Monsees graduated with honors from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1981. He is admitted to practice in Missouri, Kansas and Texas. Mr. Monsees is recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Missouri Super Lawyers, Kansas City Business Journal “Best of the Bar”, and for many years has been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell with an “A/V” rating. He regularly presents at seminars helping to instruct other attorneys on trial practice skills.

    Mr. Monsees restricts his practice to representation of injured parties in litigation of product liability, construction & industrial accidents, professional negligence, and medical malpractice. Mr. Monsees’ firm has received national recognition for litigation related to injuries from defective sporting equipment and from defective firearms.

    Litigation Support - Mr. Monsees provides expert witness services for counsel representing injured parties. He addresses issues related to rules violations, time limits, discovery omissions, trial strategies, procedure, standard of care, and ethical violations.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Legal Ethics
    • Legal Malpractice
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Personal Injury
    • Demonstrative Evidence / Exhibits
    View Timothy Monsees' Consulting Profile.
    Timothy W. Monsees
    This book is a great resource for personal injury victims, familiarizing readers with the general process and providing answers to commonly asked questions. Written by a personal injury attorney with more than thirty years of trial experience in this area, who has also handled cases in more than twenty-five states, this book summarizes the important considerations for personal injury victims. As an attorney who has worked both for, and now against, insurance companies and big corporations, the author poses and answers the questions you should ask before becoming a party to personal injury litigation.
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    Ned Einstein
    President
    15-17 S. William Street,Suite 3A
    New York NY 10004
    USA
    phone: 212-766-1121 (NY) or 818-988-4586 (LA)
    fax: 212-766-1122
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    Areas of Expertise: Accident analysis, testimony and mediation in vehicle and pedestrian accidents involving transit, paratransit, schoolbus, motorcoach, special education, non-emergency medical transportation, taxi, shuttle, child transport systems and services; slips and falls; crossing, boarding and alighting; wheelchairs; seatbelts; ADA and accessibility; passenger safety, security and sexual abuse; vehicle design, specification, crashworthiness, quality assurance and product liability; industry standards and practices; driver training and vehicle operation; management, monitoring, supervision and enforcement; maintenance; NHTSA, FTA, FMCSA and USDOT regulations; vehicle testing and certification; contract negotiation and compliance; risk management; planning and system design.

    The Firm: Transportation Alternatives is a passenger transportation and automotive consortium engaged in consulting and forensic accident investigation and analysis (more than 350 cases). Specializes in elderly, disabled, schoolchildren.

    Education: MURP (Urban and Regional Planning): George Washington University, 1975 BA, English Literature: Rutgers University, 1969

    Professional Experience:
  • President, Transportation Alternatives (1980 to present). Consulted to USDOT, transit agencies, private contractors, social service agencies, municipalities and school districts. Designed several major transportation systems
  • Chairman/General Manager, PTS Transportation (1982-1992). Directed operations of a 70-vehicle paratransit system for physically and developmentally disabled individuals and a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service
  • President, TAM-USA (1989-1995). Formed and directed a U.S.-Slovene joint venture company which coordinated the design, testing, certification and marketing of a European-manufactured school bus and motorcoach.

    Appointments and Memberships:
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • National Association of Pupil Transportation
  • United Motorcoach Association
  • American Bus Association
  • Community Transportation Association of America
  • Association Internationale pour la Sécurité du Transport des Jeunes
  • National School Transportation Conference (1995, 2000, 2005)
  • Committee on School Transportation Safety, National Academy of Sciences
  • Bus Industry Safety Committee (ABA)
  • Access Committee (APTA)
  • In Part 1 of this series, I introduced the notion that roughly half of all public transportation-related incidents are the result of a deliberate trade-off of passenger safety for some system or owner's benefit. The most common benefit is the service provider's operating a schedule that is too tight.

    This new National Bus Trader piece is the first installment of likely a year-long series about types of incidents that result from trade-offs of safety for other benefits -- adherence to unrealistically-tight schedules (or drivers running behind schedule) being the principal culprit. Frankly, of the more than 600 public transportation-related lawsuits in which I have served as an expert witness, roughly half of all incidents see to be the result of some deliberate safety compromise.

    The past eight installments of this series covered a lot of ground -- some technical, but mostly socio-economic and conceptual. But in the debate over the pros and cons of human versus robotic drivers, is it not possible to have the wisdom to take the best of both worlds? In early articles I acknowledged some of the advantages of Highly-Automated Vehicles (HAVs), including:

    What is interesting, and the focus of this installment, is the glaring disparity between the magnitude of information available about a vehicle or driver's performance and the general disinterest in examining it. This disparity is not a technological problem. It is largely an institutional and attitudinal problem. Or one might characterize it as a cultural problem. Or a values problem in a money-oriented society. Nevertheless, it raises an important point about driverless vehicles: While a vehicle's brain may contribute to and/or improve safety (fewer accidents and incidents) and performance (e.g., better mileage, less pollution), this brain's extraordinary analytical capabilities may be pointless because no non-robot is likely to ever examine the data.

    7/24/2017 · Transportation
    The previous six National Bus Trader articles on this subject stabbed at some highlights and low-lights within the extraordinary spectrum of socio-economic, institutional and other issues encompassed by our transition from humanoid-driven to robotic vehicles. At this point, I thought it might be helpful to take a quick glance at some of the hardware that serves as the robots' mechanical fixtures, apart from the electronics and the digitalia: Cameras and sensors. These components were employed in "transitional" or "steppingstone" efforts along the path to truly driverless vehicles. So I feel it is worth a look at how these technologies were used and abused at this earlier stage of HAV (highly-automated vehicle) development. Should the reader wish to view the math in the robots' brains, I recommend Multiple View Geometry in Computer Vision by Richard Hartley and Andrew Zisserman. The bible for artificial intelligence. Way over my head. If also over yours, no apologies necessary.

    When an asteroid strikes a planet, things tend to change quickly. Most other changes occur gradually, even while a small handful are occasionally more significant. These latter changes are sometimes referred to as "paradigm shifts," largely because they affect so many things around them, and cause such dramatic changes in the things they affect directly.

    6/22/2017 · Transportation
    Industry insiders, including government officials, cite an interesting analogy as a justification for their initial jump into the regulation of driverless vehicles that was first promulgated on September 20, 2016. The point made is that, had current regulations been in effect when the "Model T" hit the streets, we would have experienced far fewer collisions.

    5/23/2017 · Transportation
    As Part 2 of this series hopefully demonstrated there is much to learn about what lies ahead in the motorcoach world from the experiences of modes deploying smaller vehicles. This installment provides a preview of the likely emergence of "highly-automated vehicles," or HAVs, in the world of large vehicles: School bus, transit and motorcoach service.

    3/28/2017 · Transportation
    In a monthly magazine, it is almost impossible to keep up changes that are racing along This past September, 2015, small fleets of Volvos and Ford Fusions were released into the general traffic stream in Pittsburgh, and driverless Anheuser-Busch trucks began delivering Budweiser and Bud Light. The Netherlands and Finland have been deploying driverless motorcoaches for months now. And we already have a few similar services operating in the U.S.

    2/13/2017 · Transportation
    In Part 1 of this series, I identified the enormous range of benefits that would likely accompany even the first wave of autonomous buses, coaches, trucks and delivery vehicles. And I identified a handful of dysfunctional consequences, the most serious of which is a Tsunami of driver unemployment. Lest anyone doubt these inevitabilities, he or she might consider consulting the seven-installment series in National Bus Trader titled "Bad Regulations and Worse Responses" (June 2014 through January 2015).

    12/28/2016 · Transportation
    National Bus Trader has always been a leader in its selection and treatment of topics related to technology and innovation. So the decision to craft a lengthy article about NBT Editor Larry Plachno's experiences "behind-the-wheel" of a motorcoach-of-the-future at a "ZF Ride & Drive" event in Aachen, Germany (NBT, September, 2016) should not have been a surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that safety, liability and other issues related to this technology will be explored as well.

    8/19/2016 · Transportation
    The notion of "screening" driver-candidates for Sleep Apnea screening is not merely unsupportable, it is a delusion. In 2011, 517 truck drivers in Australia were tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnea ("Assessing Sleepiness and Sleep Disorder in Truck Drivers" in SLEEP, 2011). According to an anonymous self-evaluation questionnaire (a "multivariable apnea prediction index, based on self-report measures"), only 12% felt they had it, while roughly 4.4% had tested positive for it. Yet when all of them were tested, 41% more of them had this condition. The testing also found that a full 50% of the study participants were obese, and 49% of them smoked cigarettes. Neither of these parameters are included among the handful of criteria currently employed by either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's or Federal Railway Administration's "recommended" screening exercise -- although, In fairness, the size-17 male neck (or size 16 female neck) serves as a proxy for obesity. At the same time, as noted below, it also captures plenty of "false positives."

    6/29/2016 · Transportation
    Like most fields, public transportation is swollen with studies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Yet some of the most fascinating things seem to be never studied, or rarely studied.

    5/23/2016 · Transportation
    This final installment of this series provides the rewards for reading the first six: Starting-point ideas about things the motorcoach industry can do defend its density against intrusion from Transportation Network Companies (like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar), which have already begun plunging into the charter and tour sectors, mostly with medium-sized, body-on-chassis vehicles. It also includes things that would help increase profits and create new service opportunities - and compete with new, legitimate players penetrating the market.

    4/13/2016 · Transportation
    As NATIONAL BUS TRADER readers following this series have noted, our judicial system seems to be "running the table" with TNC-related issues. The $220,000,000 settlement of a case against FEDEX effectively eliminated the notion of an "independent contractor" in its six states. And the California courts are soon likely to boot out Uber. The FEDEX case in the U.S. Court's 10th Circuit effectively rippled a TNC's ability to deprive its drivers of a regular employee's costly array of fringe benefits. This settlement is likely to soon play out in the other nine "Circuit" encompassing the other 44 states. And if Uber is booted out of California altogether, on top of the FEDEX settlement, the TNC threat will be diminished significantly.

    3/11/2016 · Transportation
    Practically beginning my public transportation career as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Transportation, I learned to hate "Wash-Speak." Government agencies do not compound things; they exacerbate them. They use nothing, but utilize everything. They never start anything, yet implement everything. And much-ado-about nothing is usually referred to as a paradigm shift.

    2/25/2016 · Transportation
    Well, by now, the "Cat's Out of the Bag" about transportation network companies (TNCs). For this, we owe our thanks to National Bus Trader, Limo, Charter and Tours Magazine (especially) and the United Motorcoach Association. The August 15, 2015 issue of the UMA-sponsored Bus & Motorcoach News contained two articles about these previously-unfettered, robot-controlled beasts.

    2/3/2016 · Transportation
    These past five years, practically unnoticed until this last one, have witnessed the most radical change in public transportation since the introduction of scheduling software in the Early 90s: The invasion of traditional, analog services wallowing in their nostalgia by hyper- [or uber]-digital counterparts big on access, low on some concerns, and flying beneath virtually every City's and State's regulatory radar.

    1/6/2016 · Transportation
    Mitchell Rouse! In the 1980s, a strapping, 6'4"-inch-tall visionary who had inherited a 50-vehicle taxicab company and, within a few years, expanded it into a 350-vehicle leviathan, along with eight small paratransit operations. With a heavily-computerized operation a decade before Windows took over the World, his dispatch office still answered every call with a live Earthling. Wilmington/Checker Cab was all about decency, respect and efficiency. And at a time when most of Los Angeles County was beginning to deteriorate rapidly into lines, menus, incompetence and traffic. Yet, as a brilliant manager with an expanding corporate mentality, Rouse was also a rabid supporter of Unionism, and embraced his Teamster's affiliation with pride.

    12/15/2015 · Transportation
    Like every mode of public transportation, and for almost every aspect of our society, the motorcoach industry has, over the decades, been affected significantly by regulations. Some of these experiences were challenging yet produced dramatic results that, among other benefits, have saved us money. One terrific example is that modern motorcoaches dump perhaps one percent of the particulates into our environment than they did a mere two decades ago. Here, the regulations, though challenging, were at least realistic. But our industries' (and other bus modes') responses to it - effectively our engine manufacturers - were far more important than the regulations: Their responses were magnificent.

    11/18/2015 · Transportation
    The explosion of digital technology has triggered increases in vehicle costs, purged small and medium-sized companies from the transportation landscape, and contributed to a nationwide shortage of qualified drivers. But it has taken its greatest toll on management, where supervisors with a genuine understanding of transportation are gradually being replaced by armies of "templeteers."

    11/2/2015 · Transportation
    In the last installment of National Bus Trader, "Fatigue Monitoring Technology" presented an overview of the approaches and devices in development, and available, to prevent and detect driver fatigue. But unlike prevention technologies, fatigue detection devices raise a unique question: What happens when they work?!

    9/30/2015 · Transportation
    Little in public transportation is as challenging as driving load upon load of wheelchair occupants, with unique needs (and often unique chairs), in all directions, with last-minute one-of-a-kind trips dispatched into tight schedules created days, or even weeks, in advance. Yet this is precisely what paratransit drivers do - hour after hour, day after day.

    8/14/2015 · Transportation
    With panoramic/wraparound windshields lying against the front plane, sun visors, tinted windshields, crossover and parabolic mirror systems, ergonomic driver compartments with tilting/telescopic steering columns and pneumatically-adjustable seats, video surveillance cameras and motion detection sensors - much less corrective lenses, sunglasses, annual vision examinations, and continual improvements in headlamps - one would think that bus drivers could see and react to large objects appearing directly in front of their vehicles. But, as many jurors learn, one would be wrong.

    7/8/2015 · Transportation
    Comparing their relative safety to that of other vehicles, a number of motorcoach features come immediately to mind: Mass, monocoque construction pneumatic suspension, and fully-padded, forward-facing seats. Yet incidents like these still occur:

    6/12/2015 · Transportation
    No, this is not the name of a case. It refers to a dangerous conflict coursing through the bus and motorcoach industries - a conflict that we cannot afford to let exist.

    5/13/2015 · Transportation
    The previous article in this series emphasized the importance of transportation professionals selecting bus stops instead of students or their parents doing so. Regardless, while plenty of tools are available to help, the critical tool for evaluating and approving safe bus stops is a live Earthling.

    In the last installment (STN, Jun, 2007), I stressed the importance of distinguishing between an actual bus stop and the waiting area across the street from it in terms of safety. But the selection of the stop and waiting area also involves concerns for student security. Sometimes, there are trade-offs that must be made. These trade-off are often complex and subtle. But they must be made correctly.

    3/6/2015 · Transportation
    Except in rural areas with vast distances between intersections, a bus stop can reasonably be placed in one of three positions:

    1/26/2015 · Transportation
    In those rare instances where the safety of transportation modes can be compared statistically, bus riders fare several decimal points better than bicycle riders. The risks associated with motorcycles are "off the charts." The Figure below illustrates these comparisons for "home-to-school" trips - trips that comprise 15 percent of all transit trips and 96 percent of all schoolbus trips.

    12/17/2014 · Transportation
    Every responsible society has mechanisms to hold its citizens, and their organizations, accountable for their actions. With respect to safety, our society effects this goal through the enactment and enforcement of statutes and regulations, and through the process of civil litigation. As with most rules and most societies, many of our transportation organizations have discovered loopholes. Employing these loopholes, they have effectively reduced their liability exposure at the cost of compromising safety.

    11/11/2014 · Transportation
    Unlike those of many transit systems, schoolbus stops are not always identified with signage - at either the precise position of the stop or signage indicating that a schoolbus stop is approaching (the black glyph on yellow background). Rarely is the stop zone itself marked (for example, by red-lining the curb). In particular, the failure to mark the stop's precise positioning can be problematic - and occasionally dangerous.

    10/2/2014 · Transportation
    As pressure from the unknowing continues to mount, rumors have it that the U.S. motorcoach industry is slowly inching toward the installation of seatbelts. That we are doing so by skipping the decades of seat compartmentalization that has helped fend off most seatbelt advocates in the schoolbus industry is only more unfortunate since existing motorcoach seats lend themselves to a far more evolved form of compartmentalization than the "incomplete compartmentalization" (in NHTSA's own words) of their yellow body-on-chassis cousins.

    8/27/2014 · Transportation
    Question: What is the difference between a poorly-selected and -designed bus stop and a land mine? Answer: Very little. When you step on either of them, your ankles, knees and hips are likely to explode. The genuine difference is that the carnage from land mines is intentional, whereas that of poorly-selected and -designed bus stops usually reflects incompetence and, often, indifference.

    7/23/2014 · Transportation
    As it affects liability, an operating agency's status as a "common carrier" has an enormous impact not only on determining liability itself, but depending on legal constructs in various states, can also affect considerations like immunity and/or the assessment of punitive damages - often barriers to the assessment of damages afforded to public agencies. So except for motorcoaches deployed in commuter/express service under contract to public transit agencies, these latter considerations rarely affect motorcoach operations in the courtroom.

    6/13/2014 · Transportation
    In rural areas, children spaced far apart were once transported to school by horse and wagon. After the first day of school, the horses learned the routes and simply repeated them day after day, eliminating the need for drivers. The vehicles were cheap, and the engines ran effectively on oats. As our nation changed, pupil transportation's development reflected our increasing urbanization and, later, suburbanization. These developments included a new phenomenon known as traffic. As a safety matter, the need for pupil transportation grew to reflect a child's inability to cross streets or negotiate intersections, as verified by studies like the 1968 Swedish study "Children in Traffic." In simple terms, children below age 13, and particularly below age 10, do not possess the physical, mental and emotional skills necessary to cross streets and intersections.

    At the rudimentary level at which most crossing procedures are executed, schoolbus drivers are supposed to "direct" the students across the roadway when they are certain that either the traffic has been stopped in both directions or it is so distant (if even visible) that the students could easily complete their crossing before any oncoming vehicles reach the bus. The bus would obviously have its red flashers and stop arm engaged as a "fail safe."

    Drummed into my head as a schoolchild was the mantra, "Cross at the Green, Not In Between." This slogan still provides the basis for Today's thinking about following the pedestrian path to and from school or a student's bus stop. When last year, a study of 7,000 pedestrian accidents in New York City over a four-year period was released, its findings turned this century-old cliché on its head. The implications for the pupil transportation industry are dramatic, and should awaken all of us to a new reality that may save hundreds if not thousands of lives a year, since most vehicle-pedestrian accidents happen to students walking or cycling to school, as well most of those traveling by schoolbus who are struck when crossing by third-party vehicles.

    For those readers who remember Jayne Mansfield, or even know who she was, this is not a story about her Hollywood exploits or bedroom acrobatics. It is a story about a common type of accident - a rear-ender involving an automobile striking a truck or bus - often referred to, in accident reconstruction circles, as "the Jayne Mansfield syndrome."

    1/31/2014 · Transportation
    I have often written about the impacts of overly-tight schedules as the primary causative factor in incidents - in fact, the underlying cause of perhaps half of them. Because speeding is one of the "cures" to this problem, one of its characteristics is the failure to slow down when the roadway surface is not, as jazz musicians say, "melody." One of the most common scenarios is to cruise over speed bumps and speed humps. Another is to fail to slow over rugged terrain, particularly potholes and the often dysfunctional patches that sloppy road crews create to "repair" them.

    12/30/2013 · Transportation
    For decades, multiple sources cited the commonly-accepted statistic that only an estimated four percent of all individuals possessed a medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is largely the result of certain physical characteristics and lifestyle habits that reduce the flow of oxygen into one's lungs while asleep. These characteristics result in lowered blood oxygen levels throughout one's normal night's sleep, and lower the quality of that sleep such that the individual is fatigued through much of the day.

    11/7/2013 · Transportation
    Supply and Demand: When it comes down to it, the ultimate dynamics of survival in life on Earth. More poetically, 70's pop artist icon James Taylor crooned, "You provide the satisfy, and I'll provide the need." So here we go on another jaunt to expand the scenarios for motorcoach usage. However, along the road, we are actually inventing a brand new mode - not that no one has necessarily tried this particular one before.

    10/11/2013 · Transportation
    As with every installment in this series of articles, this particular model or vision is highly unusual, has only limited application, and requires considerable creativity and effort to bring to life, and still contains some constraints even if and when one can develop it beyond the womb of an idea.

    9/24/2013 · Transportation
    There are plenty of things obvious to almost any adult, motorist or pedestrian about large vehicles. The most obvious is their size and mass. But at the other end of the spectrum lie nuances rarely understood by anyone who has not driven a vehicle with a long wheelbase: The way such a vehicle turns, and the way its tires "track" compared to those of a typical automobile, van or pickup truck.

    8/21/2013 · Transportation
    As NBT readers of my past columns well know, my perspective on accidents and their causation is pretty skewed because I spend most of my professional time examining their details.

    8/6/2013 · Transportation
    One of the most fundamental concepts of liability is that the defendant "takes the victim as he finds him." Apart from hospitals and nursing homes, few areas of modern life confront, litigate and test this principle as often as public transportation.

    7/18/2013 · Transportation
    As we all know, public transportation is a fiercely competitive business, even in operating environments which are subsidized. But the failure to make tiny investments in safety can be costly in the courtroom.

    2/26/2013 · Transportation
    Alcohol and bus ridership present a curious enigma. As a matter of public policy, we allow intoxication. As a matter of free market dynamics, we encourage it. And rightfully so, we want to protect those intoxicated from hurting themselves and others.

    12/20/2012 · Transportation
    This title makes me think immediately of funerals. This is not what this installment is about, although problems in the office and on the road often translate into funerals for operating companies, not just their accident victims.

    10/24/2012 · Transportation
    As most motorcoach community members know, contracting plays a major role in much of our operations - including the 30% of motorcoach service provided to schoolchildren on field trips, as well as the commuter-express service provided under contract to transit agencies.

    8/22/2012 · Transportation
    One would think in the Age of Irreversible and Growing Unemployment, employers could phase out their "dead wood" and find some personnel capable of performing their functions competently. Regrettably, bus agencies and companies are generally not among those which do.

    One of the unfortunate problems with non-news-oriented magazines is the juxtaposition of their readers' limited long-term memories coupled with the publishers' reluctance to repeat themes (much less whole articles) that are not linked to stories that reflect continuing news or problems.

    Recently, I conducted a workshop on safety and liability for transportation directors. I asked innocently, "What do you do after training?" Several attendees shouted out, "More training!"

    Many of our fundamental and commonly-held beliefs are invalid because they were derived, often haphazardly, from a blur of intuition, superstition, history, tradition and circumstance rarely subjected to scientific scrutiny. Before the inventions of artificial light and mechanical clocks, being awake during daylight and asleep during darkness were survival necessities - lest one be devoured by predators or stumble into a pit.

    In my review of more than 80 public transportation-related accidents and law suits, one almost universal theme has been the absence of any log review. This failure has generally combined with another common theme: A vehicle running behind schedule. The relationship between these two themes is easy to both understand and demonstrate - as is the acknowledgement that they constitute a genuine safety problem. But in a courtroom, the fact that system management failed to notice the vehicle running late - and worse, failed to even look for it - translates into a liability problem as well.

    Since driving a 20- or 25-ton motorcoach is touted as so being difficult, it is only fair to ask why so much carnage, and so many law suits, occur apart from collisions. In particular, the number of incidents occurring at or near stops seems largely disproportionate to the perceived simplicity of handling things when the bus or coach is stationary