Should you be leery of that motor coach?


You may be surprised to know that the motor coach industry is made up of approximately 4,000 companies that operate more than 35,000 vehicles. Some 750 million passengers travel each year by bus.

Those statistics comes from the U.S. DOT.

How is the safety record of motor coach industry?

During the 10-year period from 2001 through 2010, motor coach crashes have resulted in an average of 17 motor coach occupant fatalities per year. Some crashes also resulted in additional fatalities and injuries of pedestrians, drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in these crashes.

Causes of bus crashes

As for the main causes of bus crashes and how can they be prevented, the U.S. DOT has identified a number of priority action items that would have the greatest impact on reducing motor coach crashes, fatalities and injuries. As part of its motor coach safety initiative, the agency is specifically targeting:

- Driver fatigue and behavior.

- Vehicle maintenance.

- Operator oversight.

- Crash avoidance measures and stability control issues.

- Occupant protection.

The U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees bus safety. It works collaboratively with the National Transportation Safety Board (NHTSA), Federal Highways Administration, Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials (PHMSA), Research and Innovative Technologies Administration (RITA) and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation to ensure buses are safe to transport passengers.