In our area of the country, travel by city bus and commercial bus are rather common. However, what many may not appreciate is that the risk of a commercial vehicle accident can be mitigated with a bit of research. This is because many bus accidents are caused by unsafe drivers or unsafe company policies. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has a database that allows potential bus riders to research the company’s safety record to ensure they ride with only safe drivers and companies.
FMCSA’s bus safety search
DOT’s bus company safety database is called the FMCSA’s Bus Safety Search, and it is an online database. This database allows riders to look up the bus company’s entity name, the USDOT number for the company and even the vehicle type.
The FMCSA’s Bus Safety Search contains a Safety Measurement System that marks each bus company as satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory. While a company can still legally operate under conditional status, they have safety violations that potential riders should read before booking. But, unsatisfactory means they are not allowed to operate, and if they are still selling tickets, please report them. These unsafe companies are dangerous.
Behavior Analysis & Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)
DOT keeps track of five BASICs based on the company’s safety data. These categories include unsafe driving, service-hour compliance, vehicle maintenance, controlled substances and alcohol use and driver fitness
Licensing and insurance
Finally, the DOT database includes whether the bus company is licensed and insured. If they are operating while not having a valid license or insurance, again, report them. The roads around Brooklyn, New York, are unsafe enough without more unsafe commercial vehicles.