Motorcoach

NTSB: Driver fatigued in fatal coach overturn

Posted on December 9, 2009

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the January 2008 fatal crash of a motorcoach near Victoria, Texas, was caused by the driver's loss of control of the vehicle after he fell asleep at the wheel.

 

One passenger was fatally injured, 17 passengers sustained major injuries, and the driver and 29 passengers received minor injuries. The NTSB found that passengers were injured by partial ejections from the motorcoach and by striking objects and other passengers inside the motorcoach when it overturned.

 

On the morning of Jan. 2, 2008, a 2005 Volvo motorcoach operated by Capricorn Bus Lines Inc., under International Charter Services Inc.'s operating authority, was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 59 near Victoria, Texas. The motorcoach, en route from Monterrey, Mexico, to Houston, was carrying 47 passengers. Approximately five miles south of Victoria, the driver fell asleep, partially ran off the road, and then, after overcorrecting, lost control of the motorcoach which overturned on its right side. Within five minutes, a northbound pickup truck struck the underside of the motorcoach.

 

Major safety issues identified by this accident investigation focused on driver fatigue; lack of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversight of passenger motor carriers in the areas of operating authority, leasing agreements, scope of operating authority violations, safety rating methodology and the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program; and registration and use of non-Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)-compliant, passenger-carrying vehicles in commercial motor carrier operations in the U.S.

 

"When we looked at the specific chain of events that led to this tragic accident, we also found numerous holes in the federal regulatory environment that allows a non-compliant motorcoach to be registered and operated on U.S. roadways," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "The traveling public should expect that any motorcoach they ride complies with all of the safety criteria imposed on every other commercial passenger vehicle within our borders."

 

As a result of its investigation, the NTSB issued 19 safety recommendations: one to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 11 to the FMCSA, two to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP); and one each to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), and the International Registration Plan (IRP). The report also reclassifies one previously issued recommendation to the FMCSA and also reiterates two previously issued recommendations to the FMCSA.

 

Among the recommendations, the NTSB urges NHTSA and FMCSA to work in conjunction with CBP and implement a process to detect motor carriers operating motorcoaches or other passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles that do not meet U.S. safety standards. Once detected, these non-compliant vehicles should be placed out of service.

 

In addition, the NTSB urges the FMCSA to deny or revoke operating authority for commercial interstate motor carriers who fail to disclose any prior operating relationship with another motor carrier, prior operations as another motor carrier, or previously holding a different US DOT number.

 

A synopsis of the accident investigation report can be found on the Board Meetings page of the NTSB's Website, http://www.ntsb.gov/events/Boardmeeting.htm. The complete report will be available on the Website in several weeks.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

ABC delivers 17 Van Hools to Texas, New Orleans

Euless, Texas' Roadrunner Companies added eight TX45s, while New Orleans' Hotard Coaches added nine TX45s.

CH Bus delivers Temsa TS35 to Ky.

R&R‘s new coach is seated to 38 passengers and is utilized for a variety of groups such as corporate events, weddings and tours.

MTR Western deploys Lytx DriveCam safety program across entire fleet

The Lytx DriveCam Program helps prevent collisions, reduce injuries and save lives by combining video with predictive analytics, real-time driver feedback and coaching, empowering fleets to identify and correct driving behaviors that could lead to collisions.

IMG names STARR Bus Charter & Tours Operator of the Year

Each year, IMG shareholders recognize one of their own for this honor, based on a criterion of operational excellence, safety performance, best practices, community and motorcoach industry involvement, and engagement within the International Motorcoach Group.

Princeton ticketing motorcoaches for not parking in designated area

The buses often block visibility on Nassau Street, idle on side streets and in residential neighborhoods, or drive around town until it is time to pick up visitors after their tours of Princeton University.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close