FMCSA Analyzes Bus Fire Safety

In Novemeber 2016 the USDOT, FMCSA, Technology Division, Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology released a study analyzing motorcoach and school bus fire safety. 
Last Novemeber the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Technology Division, Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology released a study analyzing motorcoach and school bus fire safety. The research was performed by the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) and the objective of this study was to identify the causes, frequency, and severity of motorcoach and school bus fires in the United States, and determine potential ways to prevent or reduce the severity of these incidents.

This study updates the 2009 Motorcoach Fire Safety Analysis, which was based on reported motorcoach fires that occurred from 1995 to 2008, and expands the database to include all nationally reported motorcoach fires (i.e., spontaneous, intentional, or the result of a collision or rollover) that occurred from 2004 to 2013. In addition, this report evaluates school bus fire risk, further explores the use of indicators of future fire risk based on regulatory compliance data, and estimates the fire safety impacts of recent technology changes—including automatic fire detection and suppression systems—on motorcoaches and school buses. Recommendations are offered for improving the quality of reported data, training and outreach, vehicle design and equipment, and inspection standards. The findings and recommendations in this report are of interest to a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the arena of passenger carrier safety, including Government regulatory agencies, motorcoach operators and school bus service providers, industry associations, vehicle and vehicle equipment manufacturers, and the traveling public.

Click here to download the entire study.

NOTICE: This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the USDOT in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. The contents of this report reflect the views of the contractor, who is responsible for the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the USDOT. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers named herein. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of this report.