[Analysis] Bus Accident Statistics in the United States

In the United States, buses are relied upon to transport large groups of people and carry our children to and from school.  Passengers, other motorists, and their families have a reasonable expectation that they will safely arrive at their destinations.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

While collisions involving buses occur at a much lower rate than those involving passenger vehicles, the results are usually tragic.

Even when passengers are kept safe, poor sightlines from the vehicle and negligent bus drivers can put pedestrians, cyclists, and passenger vehicle occupants at risk. In fact, historically, only 13 percent of those killed in bus accidents are occupants.

When, where, and how often do buses crash?

At Paulson Coletti,  we’ve represented families who have lost loved ones in bus collisions and we have seen the devastation that a deadly bus accident can bring.  As a service to those affected by or interested in bus safety, we’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of bus accident statistics and information available online.

How Often Do Buses Crash?

We examined pFrom 1997 – 2017, there was an average of nearly 60,000 bus accidents each year in the United States.  While most of these collisions result in property damage only, hundreds of people are killed and thousands more are injured.

 

[Interactive Map] Fatal Bus Accidents in the U.S. from 2012 – 2018

While the FMCSA provides general incident data for a larger range of years, it merely provides totals.  In order to map data and dive deeper into the issue, we analyzed seven years of fatal bus collision data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

From 2012- 2018, there were 1,725 fatal crashes involving a bus in the United States.

Which Bus Type is Involved in the most Fatal Collisions?

 

Bus Use Type Fatal Crashes Deaths
School Bus 651 729
Transit/Commuter 631 687
Charter/Tour 166 247
Intercity 81 92
Shuttle 55 83
Private Use 33 45