|Fatal Crash Calls Attention to Driver Fatigue|
|Written by David Wegbreit|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 00:00|
WASHINGTON, D.C. — More needs to be done to address driver fatigue, the National Transportation Safety Board said following their determination that this was the probable cause of a 2005 truck-tractor semitrailer rollover crash involving a motorcoach that resulted in five fatalities.
According to NTSB, just before 2 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2005, the truck-tractor semitrailer departed westbound I-94 near Osseo, Wisc., and traveled along the earthen roadside before re-entering the highway, where it overturned and came to rest on its side, blocking both lanes. A minute later, a chartered motorcoach, also traveling westbound, crashed into the underside of the truck. The driver of the motorcoach and four passengers were fatally injured and 35 others received minor to serious injuries.
NTSB determined that the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and had not used off-duty time to obtain sufficient sleep. While the driver of the motorcoach did not wear his required glasses at the time of the crash, NTSB spokesperson Bridget Serchak, said findings from the forthcoming report indicate that even with glasses, late-night darkness, absence of lights on the truck and the motorcoach driver’s use of low beams would have made it difficult to see the overturned truck.
As a result of the accident, the NTSB recommended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implement a plan to deploy anti-fatigue technology in commercial vehicles and develop a methodology to assess the effectiveness of motorcarrier’s fatigue management plans. The National Highway Traffic Administration should determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce commercial vehicle accidents and require these technologies if they are found to be effective, the NTSB recommended. The Safety Board also reiterated a previous call for rulemaking on adaptive cruise controls and collision warning system performance standards.
Driver fatigue has blipped on the school transportation radar several times this year.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 18:42|