The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its findings on the cause of the bus accident that took the lives of 17 and injured 38 more back in August of 2008. The bus left the highway at about 68 miles per hour, broke through a metal bridge railing and ended up 8 feet below the bridge.
After an extensive review of the crash, it was determined that the bus had been driving for a significantly long distance with an under-inflated tire. The low tire pressure resulted in such a complete tire failure that there was no way the driver could have possibly maintained control of the bus.
The report revealed that number of deaths and the significant injuries were also the result of the fact the brdige railing failed in keeping the bus from plunging over the side. To make matters even worse, the luggage racks inside the bus failed and prevented passengers from exiting and impeded the rescue of the injured.
The most significant recommendations coming from the NTSB were to:
the Federal Highway Administration by increasing the requirements for bridge railings and repair of older bridges, and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which was asked to impose a requirement that all new motorcoaches over 10,000 pounds have tire pressure monitoring systems, and develop performance standards for the luggage racks. In addition, the NTSB asked NHTSA once again to develop requirements for passenger safety restraints, including restraints for children, on all new buses.
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