These days, riding on a noncity bus can feel like a novelty. But, with the number of bus options throughout New York only increasing for interstate and intrastate travel, it has become even more important to protect our own safety from personal injuries caused by bus accidents because of unsafe drivers and bus companies.
Do the research
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), most of these companies are passenger safety-focused, but there are some bus companies that do not follow DOT safety regulations. Luckily, the DOT maintains a database of safe and unsafe bus companies on their online database: FMCSA’s Bus Safety Search.
Search for the bus company’s record
The Bus Safety Search is most easily searched with the bus company’s entity name. However, sometimes the entity name is different from their business name. In that case, look up their record based on their USDOT number. There is even an option to search by the bus type, if one cannot find the entity name or USDOT number.
Once the bus company is located, click on, “Safety Information,” which is located next to the company’s name. The safety information is based on the DOT’s Safety Measurement System. There are three possible ratings: satisfactory, conditional and unsatisfactory. Satisfactory is the DOT’s highest rating. This means they have “adequate safety management.” Conditional means that the company has some violations but has been allowed to operate. For those companies, it is useful to examine those violations to see if riders are still comfortable with the bus company. And, of course, unsatisfactory means that the company is barred from providing services. If riders see a potential bus company with this rating, report the New York, New York, bus company because they are operating illegally .
The final check for New Yorkers is to ensure that the bus company is appropriately licensed and insured. This information is also listed in that database. There is a similar database for New York-only bus companies, and for those looking to avoid bus accidents, these databases should be utilized before taking the ride.