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Distracted Driving Determined as Cause of Ottawa Bus-Train Crash

An investigation conducted by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) determined that a fatal 2013 Ottawa crash between a bus and train was caused by distracted driving. Specifically, two years ago, an Ottawa double-decker bus crashed into a train resulting in multiple fatalities. The bus driver and five passengers were killed in the catastrophic bus-train accident. Nine people were seriously injured and about 25 people sustained minor injuries.

The investigation determined that the driver of the OC Transpo bus was familiar with the route and fit for duty. The bus was in good mechanical condition. In addition, the automated lights and warnings at the railway crossing, where the accident occurred, were functioning properly.

So what caused the accident? Multiple distractions. OC Transpo buses have a video monitor on the buses, and drivers are required to review the video monitor while the buses are in service and are also required to announce that no standing is permitted on the upper deck of the bus. On the day of the accident, a passenger on the second level was standing, and the driver believed that there were empty seats. As a result, the driver was looking at the monitor, distracted by conversations around him about whether there were empty seats and made an announcement that no standing was permitted.

As a result, he was distracted and did not realize that he needed to stop as he approached a railway crossing. Passengers shouted for him to stop, but it was too late. He drove the bus into the railway crossing. A train crashed into the bus, sliced off the front portion of the bus and then derailed from the tracks. The investigator in charge stated that this accident could have happened to any driver under the same circumstances.

The chair of the TSB said that though the City of Ottawa has taken steps to make the crossing where the crash occurred safer, there is more that can be done. For instance, a driver should not be watching a video monitor while driving. Though Ontario has distracted driving laws, some commercial vehicles are exempt. The TSB is asking Transport Canada to work with provinces to set guidelines on the placement and use of video monitors.

Distracted Driving Accidents in Ottawa, Kingston & Whitby

Distracted driving does not only include texting while driving or talking on the phone while driving. It also encompasses other distractions as seen in this tragic Ottawa bus accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a catastrophic car accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby, call the catastrophic injury lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a FREE consultation. The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have helped numerous car accident victims and will help you obtain the best possible financial recovery. 866-384-5886

*Source: www.theglobeandmail.com (Driver distraction led to deadly Ottawa bus-train crash)

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