We have sometimes covered bus accidents on our blog. These accidents can be very serious, not only for the vehicles that the bus hits, but also for the passengers on the bus. The passengers on the bus can be injured in accidents. With that in mind, you can see why it is important to choose the safest bus company possible when you have to take the bus. There are several points that should be considered when choosing a bus carrier for an upcoming trip.
How are bus companies rated?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has three ratings for bus companies. From worst to best, these rankings are unsatisfactory, conditional and satisfactory. Ideally, people who are going to travel on a bus will choose a bus carrier with a satisfactory rating. If none is available, you can choose a carrier with a conditional rating; however, you should know that doing so comes with an increased risk. Carriers that have an unsatisfactory rating shouldn’t be operating. There are some carriers who don’t have a rating. That means that they haven’t yet been evaluated by the FMCSA.
What else should I look for?
Buses that are for-hire and operating an interstate operation have to have an insurance policy of at least $5 million. This can help to cover the costs of an accident if you are in one while on the bus. In addition to that, the bus should have an operating authority registration from the FMCSA and a USDOT number.
Are there any driver markers to look for?
The bus driver has to meet physical qualifications to drive the bus. Look for the medical examiner’s certificate to verify this. A commercial driver’s license is also important. The driver should have a CDL with a passenger endorsement.
All of these considerations can help you to have the best chance at a safe trip. Even on the safest bus with the safest driver, there is still a chance that you will be involved in an accident. If that happens, get medical care and then you can explore your options to minimize the financial impact the accident has on your life.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Safety Information for Travelers and Trip Planners” accessed Feb. 12, 2015