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A charter bus traveling through Soledad, CA on April 28, 2009 overturned on a Highway 101 overpass killing five and injuring dozens of the French tourist passengers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The bus crashed against a side rail and eventually landed on its side in the middle of the road. The French tourists were on an eight-day sightseeing trip through California.

This horrible accident is a reminder of how important it is to understand bus safety guidelines before riding on any type of bus. In California in 2008, there were 1,228 non-fatal bus crashes and 28 fatal bus crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). On the FMCSA website, you can find safe interstate/motorcoach companies in your area, how to use emergency windows, and audio safety information in several languages.

Some of the safety guidelines the FMCSA presents include knowing where emergency exits are, call 911 in case of an emergency, look to the driver for direction and follow his or her instructions, know where fire extinguishers are located, be aware of the emergency signal device located in the bathroom, use handrails when entering and exiting the bus, and stay seated as much as possible while the bus is in motion.

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