Bus Safety Research Tips
Two Ways to Search for Safety
You can search FMCSA data using a company’s name or USDOT number. Many bus companies have similar names, so ask the company for its USDOT number.
If you’d like to search for a bus or other transportation company (like a van service or limousine company) in your area, use the “Search by Vehicle Type” option.
Understanding Your Search Results
Review several types of information.
- Authorization to Operate. All commercial bus operators that carry passengers on trips that go outside of a state must have a USDOT number and be authorized by FMCSA to operate.
- If you see a red “Not authorized to operate” notice in your search results, the bus operator is not allowed to take passengers to another state..
- Required Financial Responsibility provides insurance for passengers in the event of a crash.
- Operator Safety History indicates how well a bus company has performed in specific safety categories. This includes:
- Safety performance in each of five safety categories called “BASIC.”
- A company safety rating.
BASIC Safety Performance
BASIC stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories.
FMCSA uses a percentile from 0 (best) to 100 (worst), calculated for companies that have enough data related to each category. A lower percentile indicates a higher rate of compliance for that safety category.
|This symbol indicates that the company’s performance in a specific BASIC category needs improvement, based on roadside inspection data and/or one or more serious violations within the past 12 months.
|Unsafe Driving: Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, no seatbelts.
Hours-of-Service Compliance: Noncompliance with HOS regulations, including logbooks.
Vehicle Maintenance: Brakes, lights, defects, failure to make required repairs
Controlled Substances and/or Alcohol: Use/possession
Driver Fitness: Invalid license, medically unfit to operate a CMV.
Company Safety Rating
The safety rating is FMCSA's assessment of the company's safety performance:
- Satisfactory is the highest rating, indicating a company complies with federal safety regulations.
- Conditional means a bus company has some violations, but may still operate. Review the company’s BASIC information to learn more.
- Unsatisfactory ratings generally indicate bus companies that not allowed to operate, and should be reported to FMCSA if they are operating.
- Bus companies that do not have safety ratings have not had their operations evaluated by FMCSA.
Report Companies that Shouldn’t be Operating
If a bus company you’re considering has an “Unsatisfactory” safety rating, has been placed out of service, or doesn’t have operating authority, it should not be operating in interstate commerce.