We shall talk about the average city bus.

Average bus -> ~13000kg. I checked multiple sources, not only the one given. Passengers' weight is neglected considering the strong rounding on the bus weight either way.

Let's consider multiple probable cases.

  1. Bus crashes into something stationary in front of it. Bus probably tried to stop beforehand.
  2. Bus crashes into something moving. E.g. A car that suddenly came from left/right.
  3. A light car crashes into the bus from left/right. In the front part of the bus.
  4. A light car crashes into the stationary bus from behind.

From multiple searches I might put the average car weight to ~2000kg

  • I believe the bus speed doesn't really matter for the sake of the question, since it doesn't change the safest spot. But I might be wrong, so let's consider speeds of 60km/h in town and 110km/h on a high road. Or whatever speed you find to be relevant.

  • Nobody wears seatbelts.

  • The people in the bus are average weight. Let's say 70kg (~55kg for women, ~82kg for men)
  • By "safest" I consider the situation where a human sitting in specific place hits his head on the seat in front of him mugh/slightly lighter than the man sitting in the most dangerous place.

Also would be nice to have a statictics about bus crashes, which crashes happen more often etc. I shall add it later on.

I understand that the question might be a bit out of the scope of the physics SE. Let's just make sure that those of the human species who care about little things, feel safer on the public transport.


I believe it doesn't matter from a physics point of view.

  • Everyone on the bus is moving at the same speed.
  • Everyone on the bus feels the same acceleration. When the bus collides with whatever obstacle, the people at the front feel the acceleration first, but those at the back also feel the same acceleration since their final velocity is the same.
  • Therefore everyone feels the same force and suffer the same damage.


  • If parts of the bus is physically damaged to the point that the seats are crushed, then the people in those seats are likely to die even if they survive the force. Naturally, this depends on how the bus is colliding. If someone runs into the bus from the side for example, the people suffering the worst will be different than if something runs into the bus from the other side.
  • Most accidents involve the vehicle running into something. Because of the biology of the human body, rear-facing seats are safer. Most buses I've seen however do not have rear-facing seats.
  • Those sitting near the emergency exits will be able to escape after a crash easier.

tl; dr: sit at the back, near an emergency exit, and face backwards; then pray that the accident isn't a vehicle running into the bus from behind.

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