Are Buses Safer or More Dangerous Than Cars?

We’ve seen plenty of action films involving harrowing bus crashes. If you live in a big city, then you’ve most likely seen real-life news coverage of a bus crash in the center of town or on a highway. The thought of riding on a bus might even terrify someone because of media coverage. But have you ever stopped to consider if buses might actually be safer than cars?

Are Buses Safer or More Dangerous Than Cars?

Bus Accident Rates Compared to Cars

Compared to cars, buses are massive machines hogging more of their lane than makes most people comfortable, And they usually carry far more people. Add in the fact that many buses don’t have seat belts, and it’s easy to understand why some people avoid them.

Several studies have focused on the safety of buses versus cars and the results might surprise you. Your chances of injury or even death while riding a bus are greatly diminished when compared to riding in a car. If you’re a bicyclist or a pedestrian, your odds of sustaining injury by a car are far greater than by a bus.

In one study that examined accident reports in Montreal, a major city with a population of nearly two million people, researchers saw a huge decline in injuries of bus passengers versus car passengers. During the period they examined—2001 to 2010—not a single bus related fatality was recorded. Six hundred and sixty eight people were injured in bus accidents. In that same period, car accidents resulted in over ten thousand injured and 19 deaths.

In the US, there were about 340,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents between 2004-2013. Of those accidents, only .4% involved a school bus. And statistically speaking, children are apparently safer inside the bus than outside of it (walking to school, driving with a parent, etc.).

Even if Reduced, Bus Accidents Can Happen

Another study also showed that a person’s safety while riding a bus increased 60 times when compared to people riding in a car. While all evidence points to the overwhelming safety of buses relative to cars, you should still consider the possibility of an accident when riding a bus.

Accidents do happen, unfortunately. They can happen in a blink of an eye and leave you or others seriously injured. Though the chances of dying are virtually eliminated in buses, the possibilities of sustaining injuries are real.

If you’re in a bus accident, make sure to call 911. Help other passengers if you’re able. If you’ve sustained injuries and medical bills, you can find a good bus accident attorney in most major cities. The important thing to remember, however, is to remain calm.


Even though they’re rarer and less lethal than car accidents, buses accidents can happen. That shouldn’t allow you to alter your behavior, however. If you’re in a city and need a ride, trust the bus. The drivers in many cases are seasoned pros. They can be the greatest asset for public transportation. And a bus is not only safer than a car — it’s also a lot cheaper, too.

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