Highway Accident Report

Adopted: March 3, 1976
JULY 1, 1975

NTSB Number: HAR-76/02
NTIS Number: PB-252270/AS

On July 1, 1975, at 10:35 a.m., e.d.t., a Winnebago motor home traveling south on Interstate 75 ran off the highway and crashed near Monroe, Michigan. The motor home left the roadway, struck the end section of a guardrail, then struck a concrete bridge column, and caught fire almost immediately. The fire which destroyed the vehicle was fed by two 40-pound propane tanks which became detached from the vehicle. Of the 10 vehicle occupants, the driver and a passenger, neither of whom was wearing a seatbelt, were injured when they were ejected through the front of the vehicle. Seven persons perished in the subsequent fire and one was injured but escaped from the vehicle unassisted.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the driver's failure to change lanes properly. The failure of the driver and a passenger to use their seatbelts prevented them from remaining in the vehicle, where they might have been able to rescue other passengers. The escape of propane from the two disconnected gas tanks added to the intensity of the vehicle fire.


The Safety Board believes that the facts of this accident suggest the need for driver information about the hazards and potential hazards of recreational vehicles. In its Special Study, "Safety Aspects of Recreational Vehicles," the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

1. Undertake a pilot program in cooperation with the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association to inform and educate purchasers and users of recreational-type vehicles regarding the hazards and potential hazards attending the use of such vehicles, and to provide positive guides to improving all aspects of safety in the use of such vehicles, through such means as organized public information programs, pamphlets, and manuals.