Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-10-001
Details
Synopsis: On Friday, January 30, 2009, about 4:06 p.m. mountain standard time, a 2007 Chevrolet/Starcraft 29-passenger medium-size bus, operated by DW Tour and Charter and occupied by the driver and 16 passengers, was traveling northbound in the right lane of U.S. Highway 93, a four-lane divided highway, near Dolan Springs, in Mohave County, Arizona. The bus was on a return trip from Grand Canyon West to Las Vegas, Nevada, after a day-long tour. As the bus approached milepost 28 at a speed of 70 mph,2 it moved to the left and out of its lane of travel. The driver steered sharply back to the right, crossing both northbound lanes and entering the right shoulder. The driver subsequently overcorrected to the left, causing the bus to yaw and cross both northbound lanes. The bus then entered the depressed earthen median and overturned 1.25 times before coming to rest on its right side across both southbound lanes. During the rollover sequence, 15 of the 17 occupants (including the driver) were fully or partially ejected. Seven passengers were killed, and nine passengers and the driver received injuries ranging from minor to serious. At the time of the accident, skies were clear, the temperature was 61° F, and the wind was blowing from the north–northeast at 8 mph.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Require new commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds to be equipped with lane departure warning systems.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Dolan Springs, AZ, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY09MH009
Accident Reports: Bus Loss of Control and Rollover
Report #: HAR-10-01
Accident Date: 1/30/2009
Issue Date: 7/8/2010
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Collision Warning Systems

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: We are disappointed that we have not received an update from you regarding any substantive actions you plan to take to address this recommendation. Failure to address this important safety issue places drivers on our nation’s roadways at risk. Please send us an update outlining your planned actions and a timeline for addressing this recommendation. Pending such information, Safety Recommendation H-10-1 remains classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC), “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. NHTSA proposes to expand the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. NHTSA believes that the proposed enhancements to NCAP will keep pace with technological advancements and provide consumers with thorough evaluation criteria for current safety technologies. The NTSB appreciates the merits of the intended changes to NCAP and supports NHTSA in this endeavor. The NTSB recognizes the importance of NCAP, both as a means of informing consumers and as a tool for providing incentives to vehicles manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. We applaud NHTSA’s efforts and, based on our experience in conducting crash investigations and tracking safety technologies, offer the following comments organized under five main topics: Crash Avoidance Technologies, Frontal Crashworthiness, Side Crashworthiness, Pedestrian Protection, and the Rating System. The NTSB has long recognized the safety potential of lane departure warning systems and, in our report of a 2009 rollover crash in Dolan Springs, Arizona, we issued a recommendation to NHTSA to require that commercial vehicles be equipped with these systems (Safety Recommendation H-10-1). While the NTSB has not made a similar recommendation for passenger vehicles, we believe that the benefits of lane departure warning systems apply to noncommercial vehicles as well, and as such, we support the proposed testing procedures and the inclusion of lane departure warning systems in the new NCAP.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 3/30/2015
Response: We note that you continue to conduct research on various aspects of installing lane departure warning systems; however, we are disappointed by the lack of progress you have made toward requiring the systems. Because this technology is already available to the public and has shown positive results in over-the-road use, implementing a federal requirement for the equipment would ensure a consistent approach toward its further development and application. Pending completion of the recommended action, Safety Recommendation H-10-1 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/3/2014
Response: A 2013 report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration suggested potential benefits for lane departure warning systems in actual, over-the-road use. NHTSA also conducted research on test procedure development for these systems, and the final report is undergoing final approvals. The agency is also performing motorcoach lane departure warning research as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 2/10/2014
Response: We are encouraged that you are making progress in testing and evaluating the latest generation of lane departure warning systems. Pending issuance of the recommended requirement, Safety Recommendation H-10-1 remains classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 7/5/2013
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), titled “New Car Assessment Program (NCAP),” which was published at 78 Federal Register 20597-20604 (April 5, 2013). The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to comment on NHTSA’s near-term enhancements to the NCAP and recognizes NHTSA’s commitment to providing improved vehicle safety information to consumers. The NTSB recognizes the importance the NCAP program plays in improving vehicle safety and based upon our accident investigations and our tracking of emerging technologies, the NTSB offers the following comments in the areas of crash avoidance, crashworthiness, and consumer information: As a result of a 2009 rollover accident involving a mid-size bus in Dolan Springs, Arizona, the NTSB issued the following safety recommendation to NHTSA regarding LDW systems on commercial motor vehicles: H-10-1 Require new commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds to be equipped with lane departure warning systems. The NTSB recommended equipping heavier vehicles with LDW systems because these vehicles typically have high centers of gravity, which make them more prone to loss of control and rollover in the event of an unintended lane departure. While the NTSB has not issued any similar recommendations for LDW or prevention systems on passenger vehicles, it believes a similar benefit exists for non-commercial vehicles. When comparing the benefits of LDW systems to prevention systems—which add the ability of the system to intervene with steering or braking input in an effort to keep a vehicle within the travel lane—the NTSB is not, at this time, advocating for steering interventions. The NTSB believes that NHSTA should continue to include LDW systems in the NCAP and also focus on interventions at the wheels, using brake systems to help control the vehicle.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 7/3/2013
Response: From the Safety Study: Crashes Involving Single-Unit Trucks that Resulted in Injuries and Death, NTSB/SS-13/01, PB13-106637, adopted June 17, 2013, published July 3, 2013: Vehicle-based collision avoidance technologies and advanced vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity, as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, could reduce a variety of different types of crashes involving single-unit trucks. The technologies include lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, collision warning systems, and variable message signs to notify drivers of distant traffic congestion. Previous research has demonstrated the value of collision avoidance systems for large trucks (Jermakian 2012). An FMCSA-sponsored evaluation of forward collision warning systems designed to prevent large truck collisions with the rears of other vehicles concluded that motor carriers investing in this technology would experience cost savings within five years of purchasing it for their fleets; these benefits were applicable to both single-unit trucks and tractor-trailers (Murray et al. 2009). Field tests of forward crash, lateral drift, and lane-change/merge collision warning systems conducted by UMTRI “resulted in improvements in lane-keeping, fewer lane departures, and increased turn-signal use” for both tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles (Sayer et al. 2011). These results would also be applicable to single-unit trucks. Additionally, the case reviews conducted in this study pointed to some of these advanced technologies as being beneficial for specific crashes. This study also found that sideswipes posed a high risk of death and injury to passenger vehicle occupants, as did truck frontal impacts; these types of crashes can be mitigated by collision avoidance technologies, including lane departure warning and other warning systems. The NTSB concludes that collisions with the sides and fronts of large trucks could be prevented or mitigated by lane departure systems, adaptive cruise control, and collision warning systems installed on large trucks. Accordingly, the NTSB reiterates its prior recommendations to NHTSA to (1) develop standards for adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles, addressing obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning (Safety Recommendation H-01-6); (2) after promulgating performance standards for collision warning systems for commercial vehicles, require that all new commercial vehicles be equipped with a collision warning system (Safety Recommendation H-01-7); and (3) require new commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds to be equipped with lane departure warning systems (Safety Recommendation H-10-1).

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 6/7/2011
Response: The NTSB understands that NHTSA is currently focusing its LDWS efforts on passenger vehicles, with the intent of using the research and data to inform the agency's assessment of LDWS applicability to heavy commercial vehicles. Although the NTSB is concerned that this approach could significantly extend the timeline for any rulemaking on LDWS for heavy vehicles, in the short-term, it should help to move research forward. Accordingly, pending completion of the necessary research and rulemaking to require LDWS on commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds, Safety Recommendation H-10-1 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/7/2010
Response: MC# 201000405 - From David L. Strickland, Administrator: The safety of buses, motorcoaches, and other high occupancy commercial vehicles is a critical component to fulfilling our mission to prevent deaths and injuries on the nation's roadways. Because these vehicles serve as public transportation systems, there is an expectation that the highest levels of safety stringency be applied, especially since these vehicles often transport our most vulnerable populations, including children and the elderly. NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan 2009-2011 (Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0108) delineates our near-term actions in addressing these populations and vehicle types, and references related NTSB recommendations where appropriate. We are currently in the final process of publishing an update to that Plan for the time period 2010-2013. On August 18 we published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to address issues related to high occupancy vehicle Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), motorcoach definition, and occupant crash protection (see 75 FR 50958, Docket No. NHTSA 2010-0112). The comment period for this NPRM closes on October 18. We highly encourage NTSB to submit comments on this proposed rule so we can incorporate these in our deliberations toward developing a final rule. Additional public documents that detail our vision, plans, and approach to high occupancy vehicle safety include our 2007 "NHTSA's Approach to Motorcoach Safety" (Docket No. NHTSA-2007-28793) and the DOT's 2009 Motorcoach Safety Action Plan (HS 811 177). Our current research activities on lane departure warning systems focus on developing performance criteria and objective tests for light vehicles to support identification of effective advanced safety technologies that provide a warning of imminent lane departure and/or of vehicles that keep drivers in their lanes. The 2009-2011 Priority Plan stated that we intend to make a decision in 2011 whether to require lane departure warning and/or automatic lane keeping technologies in newly manufactured light vehicles. We are on schedule for that milestone. We are not currently able to determine whether such technologies might be applicable to heavy commercial vehicles, and if so, at what point might they be required in such vehicles. The research and data related to light vehicle lane keeping devices might inform our assessment of the applicability of lane departure warning technology to heavy vehicles, but it is premature to speculate on that possibility. We will keep the NTSB apprised of our research and potential rulemaking activities in this area.