Big Rig v. Tour Bus Crash – Latest in Ongoing Big Rig Boom Epidemic?
Big Rig v. Tour Bus Crash – Latest in Ongoing Big Rig Boom Epidemic?

The number of California’s deadliest crashes, unfortunately, grew by one this morning after a big rig and tour bus collided in Desert Hot Springs, killing at least a dozen people and injuring about 30 others.

At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2016, just North of Palm Springs, a USA Holiday tour bus carrying passengers returning from a trip to Red Earth Casino near the Salton Sea collided with the back of a big rig. The bus was carrying at least three dozen people. The front of the bus and back of the big rig were destroyed. The driver of the bus was one of the tour company’s owners, and it’s not known if he survived.

Survivors of the crash were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.

The California Highway Patrol and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

The Desert Sun reports that there were 2.6 million big rigs on I-10 in 2015, a 37% increase. According to the DOT, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial trucks account for approximately 500,000 vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year.  Ten percent of those end with at least one fatality, and in 80% of those accidents, it is the driver of the car who suffers the life-ending injury.


When a big rig vs. auto crash occurs, remember that the fully-loaded 18-wheeler can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, about 40 times the weight of a typical car.

Guess who survives to tell what happened? The California Highway Patrol says, “The most common violation is speeding”, (and it seems like they are all speeding on I-10). An error by the trucker can obviously cause a much greater loss than an error by a Prius driver. Also, we would all agree that most truck drivers do a good job and “don’t want to crash.”  We need them, and they need to work.

Yet, again, let’s look at the bigger picture.

As with the Wal-Mart/Morgan Tracy crash, and our I-10 February 7, 2016, crash, the real problem wasn’t just, ‘unsafe speed’, it was why the drivers’ speed was unsafe… he was not aware because of fatigue. That’s ridiculous, and, that’s why some have called these big rigs, “sweatshops on wheels.”

And, unfortunately, it’s legal!

Paid by the mile, drivers are motivated to stay on the road to make as much as possible, and they are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.


A Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Research Project has shown that drivers with this condition who don’t follow treatment required by their employers are likely to quit. They’re also five times more likely to be involved in a severe crash.

Need for concern: Currently, drivers who are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea at a trucking firm with mandated treatment programs, can just quit and hire on with a firm that does not have such a program. The study found that of 1,000 truck drivers working for one year, the drivers with sleep apnea who refused treatment had 70 preventable, serious truck crashes, compared to 14 crashes experienced by the control group and by drivers who were under treatment.


Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a big rig accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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