Do bus companies have to follow stricter safety rules than other companies that drive commercially?

Yes.  Any company that transports passengers as part of its business is considered a "common carrier."  Bus companies are common carriers.  Bus companies are held to a much higher standard of care than other companies that operate commercially.  Specifically, in cases involving a bus accident or crash, the bus company and bus driver are held to a "high degree of care."  Under Texas law, this is defined as care that would be exercised by "a very cautious, competent and prudent" bus company.  Of course, the idea behind this law is that bus companies typically transport a high volume of passengers and if there is an accident involving a bus, there is the potential that many of the passengers may be injured or killed.

The "common carrier" rules only applies to companies that transport people in their business.  For example, this rule does not apply to other commercial vehicles, like 18 wheelers, that do not transport people.

Bus companies and drivers also have to follow some of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  For example, they have to follow Part 374 -- Passenger Carrier Regulations

If you have any questions about safety rules that apply to bus companies, please contact us and our Houston Bus Accident Attorneys will help you.