Highway Accident Report

Adopted: July 12, 1984
TRAILWAYS LINES, INC., BUS/
E.A. HOLDER, INC., TRUCK
REAR END COLLISION AND
BUS RUN-OFF-BRIDGE, U. S. ROUTE 59,
NEAR LIVINGSTON, TEXAS
NOVEMBER 30, 1983

NTSB Number: HAR-84/04
NTIS Number: PB84-916204


SYNOPSIS

About 5:15 a.m. on November 30, 1983, a Trailways Lines, Inc., intercity bus traveling in the right lane of southbound U.S. 59 about 5 miles north of Livingston, Texas, struck the rear of an unloaded tractor-flatbed semitrailer operated by E.A. Holder, Inc. The bus then veered across the left southbound lane, crashed through a bridge guardrail and vaulted to a creekbank 26 feet below the bridge deck. It was dark, the weather was cloudy, and there was no roadside lighting. The pavement of the four-lane, divided highway was dry. The truck had turned right onto southbound U.S. 59 about 927 feet before the accident site and according to postaccident tests had accelerated to about 42 mph when ft was struck in the rear by the southbound bus. Six of the 11 bus passengers were killed; 5 bus passengers and the busdriver sustained moderate to severe injuries during the accident. The truckdriver later reported that he was injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the busdriver's lack of alertness, possibly due to fatigue, which resulted in his failure to recognize that he was overtaking a slower-moving truck until it was too late to avoid impact. Contributing to the severity of the crash was the excessive speed of the bus.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board made the following recommendations:

to the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety of the Federal Highway Administration:

Issue an "On-Guard" notice to carriers and drivers advising them of the circumstances of the bus accident near Livingston, Texas, on November 30, 1993, and of the research findings of the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety on fatigue and the degradation of driver performance and alertness during early morning hours. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-84-59)

Determine practical methods and means to prevent or minimize dozing at the wheel by drivers of carriers in interstate commerce, and advise the Safety Board of its findings. (Class III, Longer-term Action) (H-84-60)

to Trailways Lines, Inc:

Regularly monitor the compliance of Trailways Lines, Inc., busdrivers with posted speed limits, and take corrective action as necessary to enforce the stated policy of the company that all drivers comply with posted speed limits. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-84-61)

Regularly monitor the compliance of Trailways Lines, Inc. busdrivers with seatbelt use requirements, and take corrective action as necessary to enforce the stated policy of the company that all drivers comply with Federal regulations requiring the use of seatbelts. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-84-62)

Determine practical methods and means to prevent or minimize dozing at the wheel by drivers employed by Trailways Lines, Inc., and advise the Safety Board of its findings. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-84-63)

to the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation:

As part of any major pavement improvement projects provide, wherever feasible, for the lengthening of marked acceleration and deceleration lanes that do not meet recommended design standards of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. (Class III, Longer-Term Action) (H-84-64)

As part of any major pavement improvement project, provide wherever feasible for the installation of advanced barrier systems on and approaching bridges in the State of Texas. (Class III, Longer-Term Action) (H-84-65)