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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-17-050
Details
Synopsis: On October 23, 2016, about 5:16 a.m., a motorcoach ran into the rear of a stopped combination vehicle in the westbound lanes of Interstate 10 (I-10), outside Palm Springs, California. About 9 minutes before the crash, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) initiated a traffic break for both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-10 in support of utility work being performed west of the crash location. At that time, a combination vehicle was traveling westbound on I-10. It stopped when it reached the traffic queue that had formed as a result of the break. After a break that lasted about 7 minutes, the CHP released westbound traffic. The combination vehicle remained stopped and was stationary as westbound traffic resumed normal flow. About 2 minutes after the traffic break ended, a 47-passenger motorcoach was traveling on westbound I-10 in the lane in which the combination vehicle was stopped. The motorcoach, which was occupied by a driver and 42 passengers, struck the rear of the combination vehicle’s semitrailer. As a result of the crash, the bus driver and 12 passengers died, and the truck driver and 30 passengers were injured. The crash investigation focused on the following safety issues: traffic break policies, obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes in commercial vehicle drivers, oversight of commercial vehicle drivers and carriers, emergency egress, and collision avoidance systems. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) makes new safety recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Tri-State Collision LLC, American Trucking Associations, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and National Sheriffs’ Association. The NTSB reiterates recommendations to the FMCSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and commercial vehicle manufacturers. The NTSB reiterates and reclassifies one recommendation to the FMCSA.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Provide clear and readily searchable guidance for certified medical examiners to use when evaluating commercial drivers who are not known to have diabetes but who have glucose in their urine.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Palm Springs, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY17MH005
Accident Reports: Preliminary Report: HWY17MH005Motorcoach Collision With Combination Vehicle After Traffic Break on Interstate 10, Palm Springs, California
Report #: HAR-17-04
Accident Date: 10/23/2016
Issue Date: 11/21/2017
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FMCSA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 6/3/2019
Response: We note that you are working to better inform CMEs about diabetes symptoms and their treatment. To that end, you developed periodic recertification training that includes guidance on the signs and symptoms of uncontrolled and undiagnosed diabetes in commercial drivers, and you plan to e mail information about undiagnosed diabetes to all CMEs. We further note that you plan to make this information, as well as updated medical guidance, available on the National Registry website when the rebuild is complete. Pending your completion and our review of these materials, Safety Recommendation H 17 50 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/18/2019
Response: -From Michael Jordan, Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: On August 8, 2018, and December 4, 2018, representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met to discuss the status of 13 safety recommendations. This memorandum communicates the status updates discussed at those meetings. Source: Highway Accident Report (NTSB/HAR-17/04); Palm Springs, California (2016-10-23) Current Classification: Open - Acceptable Response Requested Classification: Open - Acceptable Response Status Update: • As a group, drivers with Type I diabetes are at an increased risk for CMV crashes, which emphasizes the need for CMV operators who display signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as glycosuria, to be evaluated prior to being medically certified to operate a CMV. • FMCSA has developed periodic recertification training that will highlight the issue of uncontrolled diabetes. • In addition, FMCSA will e-mail all CMEs on the National Registry to review glycosuria and other potential signs and symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes, such as frequent urination or excessive thirst, and the importance of not certifying drivers who may be affected by uncontrolled diabetes. • The Agency will post this information related to diabetes and drivers, and the signs and symptoms of undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, on the FMCSA and National Registry web sites. FMCSA has encountered delays due to the National Registry system being taken down in December 2017. However, this training will be launched as soon as the National Registry is rebuilt. System rebuild efforts started in September 2018. • As part of FMCSA’s plan to provide continued support to CMEs as they make certification decisions, FMCSA has created a quick reference table categorized by medical topic that contains links to each of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, medical advisory criteria, evidence reports, and Medical Review Board recommendations, including those relating to drivers who may have undiagnosed diabetes. o FMCSA plans to make this information available on the FMCSA and National Registry web sites soon. Publication of these materials have been delayed due to the National Registry being taken offline in December 2017. o The Medical Programs Division is currently updating all materials in preparation for relaunch of the National Registry System. o In addition, CMEs and drivers with questions related to diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes can obtain additional support from the FMCSA’s Medical Programs Division. • FMCSA requests NTSB maintain its classification for safety recommendation H-17-050 as Open - Acceptable Response.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 7/2/2018
Response: We note that you are working to update your medical examiner guidance and training to include guidance on the signs and symptoms of uncontrolled and undiagnosed diabetes in commercial drivers. We further note that you are developing a reference table of medical topics, including diabetes, that you plan to make available on both your website and the National Registry website. Pending your completion and our review of these materials, Safety Recommendation H-17-50 is classified OPEN--ACCEEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/8/2018
Response: -From Cathy F. Gautreaux, Deputy Administrator: As a group, drivers with Type I diabetes are at an increased risk for CMV crashes, which emphasizes the need for CMV operators who display signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as glycosuria, to be evaluated prior to being medically certified to operate a CMV. The FMCSA is developing recertification training that will highlight the issue of uncontrolled diabetes. In addition, FMCSA will email all MEs on the National Registry to review glycosuria and other potential signs and symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes, such as frequent urination or excessive thirst, and the importance of not certifying drivers who may be affected by uncontrolled diabetes. The Agency will post this information related to diabetes and drivers, and the signs and symptoms of undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, on the FMCSA and National Registry websites. As part of FMCSA's plan to provide continued support to MEs as they make certification decisions, FMCSA has created a quick reference table categorized by medical topic that contains links to each of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, medical advisory criteria, evidence reports, and Medical Review Board recommendations, including those relating to drivers who may have undiagnosed diabetes. We plan to make this information available on the FMCSA and National Registry websites by the end of2018. In addition, MEs and drivers with questions related to diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes can obtain additional support from the FM CSA Medical Programs Division of the Office of Policy. The FMCSA requests the NTSB classify safety recommendation H-17-050 as "Open - Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 11/21/2017
Response: On October 31, 2017, the NTSB adopted its report Motorcoach Collision With Combination Vehicle After Traffic Break on Interstate 10, Palm Springs, California, October 23, 2016, NTSB/HAR-17/04. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. Among the Safety Recommendations are two new recommendations issued to the Federal Highway Administration, which can be found on page 51 of the report; two reiterated recommendations, which can be found on page 53 of the report; and one reiterated and reclassified recommendation, which can be found on page 54 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in these recommendations because they are designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement these recommendations.