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Facts about motorcoaches and safety

A few years ago, the American Bus Association Foundation commissioned a study to determine how large and active the motorcoach industry was in parts of North America. The result was the Motorcoach Census of 2014. Below are some of its findings.

The industry is particularly robust in the United States, with 32,825 motorcoaches being operated by 3,330 different companies. Perhaps surprisingly, 94 percent of those were small companies owning and operating no more than 24 motorcoaches. Yet they offered more than 255 million passenger trips, racking up 46 percent of the mileage for all motorcoaches.

In 2014, there were 604 million passenger trips when Canadian figures are included. All told, passengers traveled more than 61 billion miles that year.

Motorcoaches companies offer charters, tours, sightseeing ventures, shuttles to and from airports, commuter services and special services and operations.

In 2014, 128,300 individuals found employment with the industry. Of that total, 71,900 were full-time and 56,400 were part-time. The smaller companies offered the lion's share of the jobs at 60 percent.

Buses are one of the safest transportation options for passengers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of course, as with any industry, there can be some bad apples who flout safety rules and put their passengers' lives and safety and risk.

The FMCSA has made it easy for consumers to ferret out those bad apples. Using your Android or iPhone, you can download the SaferBus app and check the motorcoach company's safety record and operating status before deciding to climb aboard.

If you are injured while riding on a commercial motorcoach or bus, a Virginia personal injury attorney is one source of information and guidance when filing a claim.

Source: American Bus Association, "Motorcoach Census," John Dunham & Associates, accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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