The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, keeps track of accidents, breakdowns, and other safety-related events that happen to commercial vehicles in the U.S. each year, including passenger buses. Recently, FMCSA’s bus accident statistics have painted an overall picture of decreased accidents and increased safety on passenger buses throughout the last two decades.
First, the total number of injuries suffered in bus accidents has decreased since 1988. In that year, about 30,000 people were injured in bus accidents nationwide. By 2008, however, that number had dropped to about 24,000 people. While individual years between 1988 and 2008 saw higher injury rates than others, overall the total number of injuries has declined over the past twenty years, indicating that passenger bus travel is safer than it once was.
In addition to the total number of bus accidents going down, the rate of accidents also went down. Buses now travel more miles with fewer accidents than they did in 1988. In that year, about 556 people were injured for every 100 million miles passenger buses travelled. By contrast, 2008 saw only 343 people injured per 100 million miles travelled.