Buses and coaches are the safest of all road transport modes. They even equal the safety level of trains, despite sharing infrastructure with other users and modes.
From 2007 to 2008, bus and coach passengers represented a mere 0.57% of road fatalities in the European Union, which is even less than the 0.79% share attributed to agricultural tractors!
The US government’s data shows that bus travel is among the safest forms of land transport.
Despite this exemplary record, further enhancing safety remains the top priority for bus and coach operators.
Source: CARE (EU road accident databaes), 2009
The best drivers
Professional bus and coach drivers are a key asset to the passenger road transport industry. Life-long learning has long been a reality for professional bus and coach drivers. Bus and coach drivers in many countries, unlike regular road users, are bound by law to undergo extensive training to pass stringent supplementary theory and driving tests. They must also pass a special medical examination.
To further help drivers keep up with the latest technology and driving techniques, such as eco-driving, manufacturers and transport managers alike provide their drivers with a wide variety of training courses, a development which has had an enormous impact on bus and coach safety and service quality.
Seven times safer than driving to school in the family car
UK reports conclude that, as a rule, other modes of transport are much safer than transport by road, with the exception of buses and coaches. Buses and coaches offer comparable levels of safety to other collective passenger transport modes, operating in a secured environment or on a dedicated infrastructure.
German figures even show that fatality rates in bus and coach transport (0.2 fatalities per 1 billion passenger kilometres) are significantly lower than those of any other mode of land transport (trains - 0.6, cars - 5.6, motorbikes - 60.9).
Similar figures are reported in the US, where the bus and coach fatality rate is the lowest at 0.4 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles. For passenger cars the fatality rate is 3.5 times higher.
In Australia, travelling to school by bus is 7 times safer than driving to school in the family car, 31 times safer than walking to school and 228 times safer than cycling.
And yet, safety remains the number one priority for bus and coach operators. Through initial and continuous driver training and improved vehicle technologies the industry strives to constantly improve its already impressive road safety record.
Buses and coaches are a Safe Move!
Find out which policy measures should be implemented to double the use of buses and coaches and further enhance their safety records.