Quack! Quack! Popular duck bus tours may present serious safety risks.

How Safe Are Duck Buses?In cities across the United States, duck tours are a popular way for tourists and residents alike to learn about a city in a fun way. These “duck boats” or “duck buses” are relics from World War II, and are a type of amphibious vehicle that is capable of moving on both land and water. During the war, they were used to ferry supplies and soldiers from ships onto the land. Now, they are used to cart people around a number of American cities through unique a land and water tours.

Duck bus tours are incredibly popular, with lines forming around city blocks and tourists buying special whistles to “quack” like a duck as they maneuver through the city. But with aging fleets of vehicles that date back to the 1940’s, are these boats really safe to transport large numbers of people?

There have been a number of very serious duck bus crashes in recent years, including a fatal accident in Seattle in 2015. In that accident, a duck bus crashed into a bus, resulting in the death of five college students. In Philadelphia, three people were killed in two separate duck bus crashes. In Boston, a duck bus ran over and killed a woman in 2016. There have been numerous other accidents, including a situation where a duck bus/boat stalled in the Delaware River and was hit by a tug boat, killing two tourists, and where a woman was killed as she crossed a street in Philadelphia.

The problem, according to some experts, is that the duck bus’ design creates numerous blind spots. This makes it difficult for drivers to see directly below and in front of the vehicle, creating situations in which the drivers can run over pedestrians, crash into other vehicles or make other errors. This is made even more dangerous when one considers that the drivers are conducting tours at the same time—they are driving, pointing out landmarks, telling jokes, and leading tourists in quacking.
In some cities, the duck buses have ceased operations because insurance has simply gotten too expensive. In other cities, new regulations are in place that will hopefully prevent future accidents. Still other cities have duck bus tours without these measures — and it remains to be seen if this summer tour season will pass without any more injuries or fatalities.

Duck buses are fun type of transportation. If their construction, management, or the driver caused an accident that lead to injuries and/or fatalities, they could be subject to liability if they were negligent. A skilled bus accident attorney may file a lawsuit against a duck bus operator for any injuries that result from the negligent operation of the duck bus/boat, including improper maintenance.

If you have been hurt in any type of bus accident, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help. We offer free initial consultations, where we can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule an appointment. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you!

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