How safe are buses?

Buses are the safest form of road transport*.

A study conducted by the Institute of Transport Studies at the Sydney University found that travel to and from school in a bus is 7 times safer than in the family car, 31 times safer than walking and 228 times safer than riding a bike**.

According to the Bus Industry Confederation (of which Bus SA is a member):

  • Between 1989 and 2010 approximately 0.63 per cent of total road fatalities were suffered by bus and coach passengers in Australia.
  • Of the fatalities related to buses less than one third occurred inside the bus, more than one quarter were suffered by pedestrians and almost 40 per cent were suffered by drivers and passengers in other vehicles and cyclists.
  • With more than 1.5 billion passenger trips being made on buses every year in Australia, the odds of a bus passenger suffering a fatal accident are approximately one in 150 million.
  • Between 1989 and 2010 school bus passengers accounted for approximately 0.62 per cent of total road fatalities amongst school aged children.
  • Of 92 bus related fatalities including school aged children during this period 38 occurred inside the bus.
  • A 10 per increase in bus patronage would save the Australian economy $100 million in the cost of road crashes.*

*Road Safety and the Bus Industry, Bus Industry Confederation Australia

**Submission by the Bus Industry Confederation to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services into national road safety, October 2003