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Bus Accident Statistics

Buses are an essential part of public transportation in major cities and, to a lesser extent, intercity and interstate transportation. Although each state defines a "bus" differently, we defined a bus" to be any vehicle capable of transporting 8 or more passengers, including a driver. Given the number of buses on our streets and highways, the number of accidents where a bus is involved is relatively small. However, when a bus accident does happen, it usually results in several injuries involving the bus's passenger.

On this page the bus accident injury lawyer at the Doan Law Firm reviews the most recent statistical data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)and the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) regarding accidents where a bus was involved. He will then review the legal options that may be available to bus accident victims and their families.

Bus Accident Overview

NOTE: Data related to bus accidents is not easily obtainable for a number of reasons, primarily that the U.S. Department of Transportation and its "Administrations," "Departments," and "Bureaus" have overlapping jurisdictions. This means that some data could be duplicated across several reports and thus the actual number of incidents could be either lower or higher than those given here.

Data regarding bus accidents is primarily taken primarily from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's annual reports for the years 2015 and 2016.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a "bus" to be "… a rubber-tiredautomotive ("capable of moving under its own power") vehicle used for the provision of public transportation service by or for a recipient" and a "school bus" to be a bus used to "… used to transport only school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home."

Commercial Bus Accidents

A "commercial" bus is any bus that transports passengers, who pay a "fare," over a predefined route. Such busses include inter-city carriers such as Trailways and Greyhound, intra-city public transportation buses, "complimentary" buses that transport guests from airports and train stations to hotels, and any number of private charter bus companies.

In 2015, the were 257 fatal bus accident injuries. Of these fatalities, 32 occurred on intercity buses; 190 fatalities occurred on intra-city transit buses and school buses, and 35 deaths were recorded on "unscheduled" buses.

School Bus Accidents

The data presented in this section is taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's School-Transportation-Related Crashes: 2006 - 2015.

In the study mentioned in the previous paragraph, the NHTSA analyzed data gathered over the 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31.2015.

The study, published in August 2017, revealed that during the study period:

  • 1,313 people of all ages were killed in school transportation-related accidents; an average of 131 fatalities per year. Included in this number were there were 301 school-age children (23% of the all-ages total) killed in such accidents
  • of the 301 school-age children killed during the study period, only 54 (18%) were occupants of dedicated school transportation vehicles ("buses"). Pedestrians and cyclists victims accounted for 110 (37%) deaths
  • of the 110 pedestrians / cyclists, 64% died after being struck by a school transportation vehicles or other vehicles serving in that capacity
  • of the 113 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles, 49 were drivers and 64 were passengers<.i>


As mentioned earlier, meaningful data on bus accidents is difficult to obtain. However, this has no bearing on the rights of those injured in a bus accident, or their families, to demand compensation for their injuries and other losses.

When someone is a passenger on a bus of any type, the passenger assumes that the bus's owner has maintained the bus in a manner that will reduce the possibility that a mechanical failure will lead to an injury to a passenger. The passenger also assumes that the bus driver is qualified to operate that vehicle and will take no action that could jeopardize his passengers. If a passenger is injured and the cause of that injury is negligence on the part of the bus owner and/or bus driver, the injured passenger will usually have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the bus company.

When a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) is demanding that a court order the defendant (the person being sued) to pay damages that will compensate the victim for things such as current and anticipated medical expenses, damaged property, lost income, "pain and suffering" and, in some cases, "punitive" damages. The type, and amount, of damages sought is a matter that must be decided by the accident victim, the victim's family, and a bus accident injury lawyer.

Injured in a bus accident? You need a bus accident lawyer!

If you, or a family member, were injured in a bus accident you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. Since it is unlikely that the bus's operator will volunteer to take care of your injuries and other losses, you will have to file a bus accident injury lawsuit.

When you file a bus accident injury lawsuit you will need a lawyer who:

  • understands the federal, state, and local laws that apply to the operation of commercial buses and school buses
  • knows how bus accidents should be investigated, which is not by simply reading police reports and newspaper articles
  • has experience in handling cases where there are multiple defendants
  • knows how to deal with large corporations, and their insurance carriers
  • has access to expert witnesses who will testify on your behalf
  • is ready to fight for your right to receive all the compensation you are entitled to receive

One bus accident lawyer who meets the above qualifications is the bus accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm, a nationwide law practice with offices located in major cities throughout the country.

When you contact the bus accident lawyer at the Doan Law firm, you first consultation with our firm is always free of any charge and does not mean that you must hire our firm as your legal counsel. If you later decide that our firm should represent you in your bus accident case, we are willing to assume full responsibility (including financial) for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for a previously agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.

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Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

  1. After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.
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