Thoughts after the Megabus accident

By Bob Bergey

My passengers have been talking nearly every day about the Megabus accident a couple of weeks ago.

“Bob, any low bridges on this route?”

“You’re not taking the parkway today are you, Bob?”

And so on.

I don’t know any more about the accident than what I read in the papers and online, so I’m not in a position to make any judgments about what the driver did or didn’t do. But accidents like this serve as a reminder to all of us drivers that we have to be vigilant at all times when we’re behind the wheel.

A few additional thoughts:

1) Know where you are going. I say this so often: DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Don’t rely on someone else — a dispatcher, lead driver, group leader, tour escort — to do your homework for you. They can certainly help, but don’t rely solely on them.

2) When you do make a mistake — a wrong turn, a missed exit, etc. — remind yourself that you are now at a higher risk to compound your error by making another, possibly worse error. You must be twice as vigilant!

Do not rush — find a safe spot to pull off the road, if necessary, to check a map, check your GPS or iPad, or ask for directions. Believe me, your passengers would rather lose a couple of minutes of time for directions than lose a couple of hours after an accident, or, heaven forbid, suffer the physical consequences of an accident.

3) Remember, if a highway is called a parkway, it is usually intended for cars only — no buses, no trucks. And the primary reason it’s limited to cars is because of low bridges ahead. There are exceptions, of course — the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland, for instance — both allow buses, but not trucks.

There are low bridges, however they are high enough for buses. But if you don’t know for certain that a parkway is safe for buses, don’t take a chance.

4) Watch the signs. We are fortunate in the U.S. and Canada in that most obstacles to buses and trucks are pretty well marked in advance — bridge heights and weight restrictions, especially. When you’re on a road you’ve rarely or never traveled before, you’ve got to be extra watchful for those signs.

Most accidents are preventable: know where you are going, be vigilant, and drive smart. Keep the odds in your favor.

For more information and links for motorcoach drivers, visit my website,

Bob Bergey is a motorcoach driver based in Fanconia, PA.