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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Bus Passenger Safety Tips

Research Bus Safety: Look Before You Book

Before making a reservation or buying a ticket, take a few minutes to research the bus company. FMCSA’s online tool will help you learn about the company’s safety history. You want to book with a company that: 

  • Is authorized to operate. Commercial bus operators that carry passengers on trips that go outside a state must have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number and be authorized to operate by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Regularly inspects, maintains and repairs its fleet for safety. Companies should ensure buses are in good repair, and all safety equipment works properly.
  • Hires well qualified, licensed drivers with good safety records, and ensures they obey all safety laws. 

Stay Safe During Bus Travel: Learn Before You Board

The Learn Before You Board fact sheet helps you understand emergency equipment and exits.

Wear passenger safety belts, if available, whenever the bus is moving. Large buses manufactured after November 2016 must provide them.

Take Action in an Emergency

If you believe you are in danger while aboard a bus, call 911. Emergencies could include:

  • A bus driver who seems incapacitated, fatigued, intoxicated, or otherwise impaired (including by medical conditions).

  • Erratic or reckless driving (including speeding or texting) by a driver who won’t comply with requests to stop.

  • A driver who refuses to stop despite an urgent safety problem (heavy smoke, skidding, etc.).

Know Your Passenger Rights Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)

Passengers with disabilities have certain civil rights for acquiring accessible over-the-road bus transportation. 

Report Bus Safety, ADA or Service Issues

If you observe an ADA compliance problem or safety issue with the bus or driver, or experience a service issue, report it to FMCSA.