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'Duck Bus' accidents take toll on industry in Seattle

Readers from the Seattle area know that in a city like this one, mass transit is a necessary way to get people from place to place. They are also likely aware that the city is a tourist destination and that the money brought in by tourists is a boon to the regional economy. One sight that residents may have seen is that of 'Duck Boats' or busses traveling the streets and waterways of Seattle.

These 'Ducks' take their name from the designation of similar vehicles used during World War II, DUKWs, that were utilized to ferry supplies and soldiers from ships onto the land. These amphibious vehicles are notable in that they can travel on both land and water, and have become relatively popular with tourists wanting to get a unique tour of the city. Unfortunately, due to some serious accidents, these vehicles have gotten a bit of a bad reputation.

The most famous of these incidents took place in Seattle a couple years ago, when a Duck crashed into a bus, killing five college-aged individuals. Accidents involving fatalities in other places have also demonstrated the risk inherent in these vehicles. While it is believed that a manufacturing defect in an axle caused the Seattle crash, numerous other problems, such as bad sight lines, have blamed for other accidents. Local companies have ceased using one type of the vehicles, and have installed cameras to improve driver's sightlines.

Regardless of safety measures put in place, vehicles that carry groups of people like buses or 'Ducks' for commercial purposes need to be responsible for injuries cause both to their passengers and to others. Those who have been bus accident victims know that the consequences can be quite serious, both monetarily and to one's health. People injured in common carrier accidents may wish to consider consulting an experienced Seattle injury attorney.

Source: Seattle Times, "After accidents in Seattle and elsewhere, duck boats lose some of their appeal," Denise Lavoie, Feb. 20, 2017

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