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It was disheartening to read that there was another serious incident involving an elderly passenger on a bus in Edinburgh last week, which follows the tragic death of another elderly passenger on a bus last month. Both cases featured sharp braking by the driver in order to avoid a collision with another vehicle.

Edinburgh accident lawyer Whilst it is unclear whether there was any fault on the part of the bus driver, it is important to recognise the various risks that can be presented by sharp braking, particularly with regard to unrestrained passengers who may be standing or moving around the bus at the time of the incident. In addition, the incident can be very frightening for those involved and may have a lasting psychological impact as a result.

There does seem to be a perception that unless you have reached the door of the bus by the time you’ve reached the bus stop, then the bus driver will simply keep driving on. That has encouraged a culture of moving towards the exit whilst the bus is in motion. I recently had a very similar case on which the elderly passenger was moving towards the exit when the bus suddenly stopped causing her injuries and the client told me that she felt that she had to be at the exit by the time the bus reached the stop as otherwise it would keep going and she would miss her stop.

Dealing with cases of this type can actually be among the more challenging in this department. Often that perception of needing to get down to the door of the bus before it stops has not been perpetuated without that having happened at some point in the past, but the onus is on bus drivers to dispel that myth. Bus drivers need to be demonstrating by their actions that passengers should wait until the bus has stopped moving prior to moving towards the exit. Whilst that might add a few minutes to the journey, it’s far preferable to having deaths and serious injuries occur. Bus companies themselves also need to ensure that they are training their drivers to encourage passengers to remain safely seated until the bus is fully stopped.

For further information on accidents to bus passengers click here.


Blog by Ross Waddell, accident solicitor Edinburgh

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