[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. Annually, as many as 700 million people travel by bus. 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 make up only a small portion of the total fatal accidents each year, the results are usually tragic. In fact, the NTSB has found that, per vehicle, busses and other commercial motor vehicles are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than passenger vehicles.
- In 2018, a drunk school bus driver collided with a dump truck, killing a 10-year-old student and a teacher in Carrolton, Texas.
- On February 22, 2020 a charter bus carrying 21 people overturned in San Diego, CA, leaving three dead and another eighteen injured.
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?
On average, there are 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. Researchers estimate that as many as 14,000 injuries occur in these crashes.
|Year||Fatal Bus Crashes||Injury Crashes||Property Damage Only|
How many people are killed or injured by busses each year?
From 1998 – 2019, 6,770 people were killed and an estimated 567,000 people were injured in crashes involving bus accidents.
However, most of those killed and injured are not bus occupants. During this time frame, a little under 10 percent of those killed were passengers on an involved bus, while the remaining deaths were occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians.
[Interactive Map] Fatal Bus Accidents in the U.S.
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 fatal bus collision data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Which Bus Type is Involved in the most Fatal Collisions?
While fatal crashes involving busses of any kind have fallen sharply since 1975, some types of busses are more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than others. School buses and transit buses are most likely to be involved in fatal collisions.
From 1975 through 2019, 4,702 school busses and 4,702 transit busses were involved in fatal crashes in the United States.
|Year||School Bus||Motorcoach||Transit Bus||Van-Based Bus||Other Bus Type||Bus Type Unknown|