Many, if not most, bus companies are safe. However, while they will never be as safe as plane travel, with a bit of foresight and planning, travelers using busses can help lessen their risk of being involved in a Tennessee motor vehicle accident.
Step 1: Search the company
Searching the company online is definitely the first step as ratings and customer complaints can help one choose a safe and honest travel company. Though, the U.S. Department of Transportation also maintains a database of bus companies as well. They can be searched by their named and USDOT number, and that agency keeps a lot of information to ensure that one is choosing a safe and reliable Tennessee bus company for their travel needs.
Step 2: Are they authorized to operate?
Now that one has found their potential bus travel provider on the USDOT’s website, the next step is looking to see if they are authorized to operate. A satisfactory or conditional rating means they are authorized, but the conditional rating means they have some violations that will need further investigation. An unsatisfactory rating means they should not be operating, and if they are, please report them. A not rated company simply means they have not had their safety evaluated by the USDOT. While this does not necessarily mean they are less safe, there is simply no independent verification of their safety management systems.
Step 3: Reviewing the safety records
If the company is conditional, the next step is checking the bus company’s safety records, which are known as their Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, otherwise known as their BASICs. Some of the possible safety violations could be unsafe driving, like speeding, reckless driving, etc. Another safety violation is service hour compliance, like the driver driving an illegally high number of hours. This is important because tired drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. Vehicle maintenance is another concern because unsafe vehicles can cause car and bus accidents. Controlled substances and alcohol use is also noted, along with driver fitness.
Step 4: Checking the company’s license and insurance status
The USDOT website will notate whether the company is appropriately licensed and their insurance status. Even if they are authorized to operate and have a satisfactory rating, the bus company may not be licensed and appropriately insured. If not, report them, and choose another Dyersburg, Tennessee, bus travel agency. While this research does not guarantee that one will not be involved in a car accident, it will lessen the likelihood.