Safety Recommendation H-95-044
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1:50 A.M. ON MONDAY, 1/9/95, A MULTIPLE-VEHICLE REAR-END COLLISION OCCURRED DURING LOCALIZED FOG AT MILEPOST 118 ON INTERSTATE 40 NEAR MENIFEE, ARKANSAS, THE COLLISION SEQUENCE INITIATED WHEN AN UNINVOLVED VEHICLE & THE ACCIDENT LEAD VEHICLE ENTERED DENSE FOG. AS THE LEAD VEHICLE REPORTELY SLOWED FROM 65 MILES PER HOUR TO BETWEEN 35 & 40 MPH, IT WAS STRUCK IN THE REAR. SUBSEQUENT COLLISIONS OCCURRED AS VEHICLES DROVE INTO THE WRECKAGE AREA AT SPEEDS VARYING FROM 15 TO 60 MPH. THE ACCIDENT EVENTUALLY INVOLVED EIGHT LOADED TRUCK TRACTOR SEMITRAILER COMBINATIONS & ONE LIGHT-DUTY DELIVERY VAN. EIGHT VEHICLES WERE OCCUPIED BY A DRIVER ONLY, & ONE VEHICLE HAD A DRIVER & A CODRIVER. THREE TRUCKDRIVERS, THE CODRIVER, & THE VAN DRIVER WERE KILLED. ONE TRUCKDRIVER RECEIVED A MINOR INJURY, & FOUR TRUCKDRIVERS WERE NOT INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE DOT: SPONSOR, IN COOPERATION WITH THE INTELLIGENT TRANPORTATION SOCIETY OF AMERICA, FLEET TESTING OF COLLISION WARNING TECHNOLOGY THROUGH PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS WITH THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER INDUSTRY. INCORPORATE TESTING RESULTS INTO DEMONSTRATION & TRAINING PROGRAMS TO EDUCATE THE POTENTIAL END-USERS OF THE SYSTEMS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Menifee, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: CRH95MH007
Accident Reports:
Report #: HAR-95-03
Accident Date: 1/9/1995
Issue Date: 12/13/1995
Date Closed: 8/10/1999
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: DOT (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Collision Warning Systems,Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 2/1/2021
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) titled “Framework for Automated Driving System Safety,” published at 85 Federal Register 78058 on December 3, 2020. In its notice, NHTSA requests comments on the development of a framework for automated driving system (ADS) safety. ADS, as defined by SAE International and as used in the ANPRM, refers to driving automation levels 3, 4, and 5. An ADS is the hardware and software that are, collectively, capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis, regardless of whether it is limited to a specific operational design domain. Specifically, the agency seeks input on its role in facilitating ADS risk management through guidance, regulation, or both. NHTSA also requests guidance on how it should select and design the structure of a safety framework and the appropriate administrative mechanisms for improving safety, mitigating risk, and enabling the development and introduction of innovative safety technology. This recommendation was listed in the related safety recommendations list attached to this NPRM response.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 6/26/2020
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments titled “Agency Information Collection Activities; Notice and Request for Comment; Government 5-Star Safety Ratings Label Consumer Research,” published at 85 Federal Register 23598 on April 28, 2020. In its request, NHTSA proposes to conduct focus groups in four geographic markets located across the country to evaluate design and consumer information improvements to the Government 5-Star Safety Ratings section of the Monroney label. The 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires NHTSA to issue a rule to ensure that crash avoidance information is provided next to crashworthiness information on the Monroney label. NHTSA aims to use the data from the focus groups to improve consumer understanding of the government’s vehicle safety ratings and advanced crash avoidance technology system performance assessments. The data will also guide NHTSA’s development of communications to help consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions. Overall, the NTSB welcomes the apparent inclusion of safety technology in label concepts that NHTSA is proposing to evaluate, but we are also concerned that the proposed information lacks specificity about the crash avoidance and other technology to be included in the evaluated labels. The NTSB urges NHTSA to incorporate performance ratings of crash avoidance technologies and vulnerable road user protection systems on the Monroney labels, thus fully informing the public. Concerns Regarding Government 5-Star Safety Ratings Label and Proposed Information Collection Request The NTSB recognizes NHTSA’s research efforts to improve consumer understanding of the vehicle safety rating system and the assessment of crash avoidance technologies. The proposed research questions are centered around appeal of label concepts as well as comprehension, format, and how the information is displayed on the label. All those elements are important; however, the proposal lacks discussion about the content of the information to be presented. The NTSB has expressed concern about the lack of progress on expanding the Government 5 Star Safety Ratings / New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to provide relevant information to help consumers as they consider safety in their vehicle purchase decisions. Currently, the 5-Star Safety Ratings label combines the results of the frontal crash tests, side crash tests, and a rollover resistance test into one score that indicates the overall risk of injury to a vehicle occupant if the vehicle is involved in a crash. The 5-Star Safety Ratings does not rate the performance of crash avoidance technologies nor does it include systems designed to protect vulnerable road users (such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists). Instead, NHTSA’s NCAP website includes icons indicating only the availability of certain crash avoidance technologies on a vehicle (even if a system is optional equipment). However, even this limited information about whether a vehicle is equipped with some level of crash avoidance technology is not included on the Monroney label. Although the performance of crash avoidance technologies varies significantly, NHTSA does not rate this performance on its website. To give manufacturers an incentive for improving performance and for informing the public about the effectiveness of these systems, performance ratings are essential. A rating system should regularly increase the criteria for achieving a top score. Based on our crash investigations and examination of various crash avoidance and other safety technologies, we offer the following comments to improve the practical utility of the proposed information collection request. NTSB Safety Recommendations The NTSB has a long history advocating for crash avoidance technologies. Since 1995, our investigations have led to the issuance of more than 25 safety recommendations in this area, many of which have been directed to NHTSA. In 1995, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-95-44 to the Department of Transportation, asking it to begin testing collision warning systems in commercial fleets. Because of a lack of progress, the recommendation was classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action” in August 1999. Many of the initial recommendations that the NTSB issued pertaining to crash avoidance systems related to their use in commercial vehicles. For example, see Vehicle- and Infrastructure-Based Technology for the Prevention of Rear-End Collisions, Special Investigation Report NTSB/SIR-01/01 (Washington, DC: NTSB). Safety Recommendation H 01 6 recommended that NHTSA complete rulemaking on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles. At a minimum, those standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factors guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. Safety Recommendation H 01 6 was classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action” in June 2015 and superseded by Safety Recommendation H 15 5. The recommendations asked NHTSA to research, develop, or improve performance standards for the technologies; inform consumers about their benefits; encourage vehicle manufacturers to install them as standard equipment; and require them on all new vehicles. A list of recent safety recommendations for crash avoidance technologies in passenger vehicles is provided below. • In 2015, the NTSB issued recommendations to vehicle manufacturers to install forward collision avoidance systems as standard equipment in all new vehicles (Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9). See NTSB/SIR-15/01. Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9 are classified “Open?Acceptable Response.” In the same special investigation report, the NTSB issued recommendations to NHTSA to incorporate a rating system into NCAP for forward collision avoidance systems and to include those ratings on the Monroney label (Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and -7). Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and -7 are classified “Open?Acceptable Response.” • In 2018, the NTSB published a special investigation report pertaining to pedestrian safety and issued numerous recommendations to NHTSA, including to develop performance tests for evaluating automatic pedestrian safety systems and to incorporate such systems into NCAP (Safety Recommendations H-18-42 and 43). See Pedestrian Safety, Special Investigation Report NTSB/SIR-18/03 (Washington, DC: NTSB). Safety Recommendations H-18-42 and -43 are classified “Open?Acceptable Response.” • In 2018, the NTSB published a safety report titled Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes and issued a recommendation to NHTSA to incorporate motorcycles in the development of performance standards for passenger vehicle crash warning and prevention systems (Safety Recommendation H-18-29). See Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes, Safety Report NTSB/SR-18/01 (Washington, DC: NTSB). Safety Recommendation H-18-29 is classified “Open?Acceptable Response.” • In 2019, the NTSB published a safety study on bicyclist safety that included a recommendation for NHTSA to incorporate into its NCAP testing the evaluation of a car’s ability to avoid crashes with bicycles (Safety Recommendation H 19 36). See Bicyclist Safety on US Roadways: Crash Risks and Countermeasures, Safety Study NTSB/SS-19/01 (Washington, DC: NTSB). Safety Recommendation H-19-36 is classified “Open?Await Response.” Although the NTSB has made specific recommendations for only some crash avoidance systems—forward collision warning; automatic emergency braking; and automatic pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle detection—we also support inclusion of other systems that show a safety benefit. See the NTSB’s response to NHTSA’s request for comments, “New Car Assessment Program,” published at 80 Federal Register 241 on December 16, 2015. https://www.regulations

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 1/15/2020
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request for comments (RFC) titled “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Draft Research Test Procedures,” published at 84 Federal Register 64405 on November 21, 2019. In its request, NHTSA presents testing procedures for nine advanced driver assistance systems (ADASs), with the goal of assessing the adequacy of the procedures. The agency emphasizes that the testing procedures are intended “for research purposes only” and are not developed to support rulemaking or the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The NTSB recognizes NHTSA’s research efforts; however, we urge rapid incorporation of the test procedures into NCAP for passenger vehicles and the adoption of testing protocols and associated requirements for commercial vehicles. We are concerned that limiting the application of the testing procedures will further delay the expansion of NCAP. Additionally, based on our crash investigations and examination of various collision avoidance and other safety technologies, we offer the following comments in the general areas of ADASs in passenger (light) and commercial (heavy) vehicles. The NTSB has a long history of advocating for crash avoidance technologies. Since 1995, our investigations have led to the issuance of more than 25 recommendations in this area, many of which have been directed to NHTSA. The recommendations have asked NHTSA to research, develop, or improve performance standards for the technologies; inform consumers about their benefits; encourage vehicle manufacturers to install them as standard equipment; and require them on all new vehicles. In 1995, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-95-44 to the Department of Transportation, asking it to begin testing collision warning systems in commercial fleets. Because of a lack of progress, the recommendation was classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action” in August 1999. Collision avoidance technologies, especially forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems, have shown safety benefits in reducing the frequency and severity of crashes. Although the effectiveness of the technologies has been demonstrated, their incorporation into vehicle fleets remains slow. As a result, in May 2015, the NTSB issued recommendations to vehicle manufacturers to install the systems as standard equipment in all new vehicles (Safety Recommendations H-15-8 and -9). In the same report, the NTSB issued recommendations to NHTSA to incorporate a rating system into NCAP for forward collision avoidance systems and to include those ratings on the Monroney label (Safety Recommendations H-15-6 and -7). In December 2015, Congress mandated that NHTSA promulgate a rule within a year to require that crash avoidance information be placed alongside crashworthiness information on the Monroney labels of new vehicles. As part of the mandate, in December 2015, NHTSA initiated a request for comments titled “New Car Assessment Program,” in which the agency proposed expanding NCAP to include 5-star safety ratings for crashworthiness, crash avoidance technologies, and pedestrian protection systems. In our response to that RFC, we noted that the proposed NCAP would not only address Safety Recommendation H-15-6 but would also incorporate other safety technologies. Since the 2015 RFC, there has been no significant progress in the expansion of NCAP. Concurrent with the 2015 RFC, plans were developed for accelerated deployment of collision avoidance systems. In March 2016, NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) came to an agreement with nearly all passenger vehicle manufacturers in the United States to equip all their new vehicles with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems by model year 2022. The NTSB supported the agreement as a means of accelerating the deployment of those technologies in vehicles. However, as testing conducted by the IIHS and Euro NCAP, among others, has shown, the systems differ greatly in performance. To give manufacturers an incentive for improving performance and for informing the public about the effectiveness of the systems, a ratings system is essential. Moreover, a rating system should regularly increase the criteria for achieving a top score.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 9/28/2010
Response: Written in the Miami, Oklahoma Accident Report (NTSB/HAR-10/02 PB2010-916202) The NTSB first discussed FCWS technology in a 1995 report concerning an investigation of a highway accident that occurred in fog in Menifee, Arkansas.181 In the Menifee accident report, the NTSB recommended, via Safety Recommendation H-95-44, that the DOT, In cooperation with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, sponsor fleet testing of collision warning technology through partnership projects with the commercial carrier industry. Incorporate testing results into demonstration and training programs to educate the potential end-users of the systems. (H-95-44) Due to the time elapsed since the recommendation’s issuance and noting that industry had taken the lead in implementing the technology, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendation H-95-44 CLOSED -- UNACCEPTABLE ACTION on August 10, 1999.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 8/10/1999
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THE DOT, THROUGH ITS INTELLIGENT VEHICLE INITIATIVE PROGRAM HAS ISSUED A SOLICITATION FOR PROPOSALS TO CONDUCT FIELD TESTING OF COLLISION WARNING TECHNOLOGY IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE PERFORMANCE OF NEWLY DEVELOPED ADVANCED SAFETY SYSTEMS. AS STATED IN OUR LETTER OF 8/11/97, THE BOARD FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT INDUSTRY-WIDE INCORPORATION OF ADVANCED SYSTEMS MUST BE PRECEDED BY INTENSIVE PRACTICAL TESTING IN COMMERCIAL FLEETS, EXTENSIVE DEMONSTRATION OF THE SYSTEM BENEFITS, AND COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING OF THE FINAL OPERATORS. BECAUSE OF THE TIME THAT HAS ELAPSED SINCE THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS ISSUED AND NOTING THAT THE INDUSTRY HAS TAKEN THE LEAD IN IMPLEMENTING THIS TECHNOLOGY, H-95-44 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: DOT
To: NTSB
Date: 4/20/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/21/99 4:35:19 PM MC# 990439 SINCE DOT LAST COMMUNICATED WITH THE SAFETY BOARD ON THIS ISSUE, TESTING OF AN AUTONOMOUS ICC SYSTEM HAS BEEN COMPLETED. A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT ISSUES AND FINDINGS WERE UNCOVERED, WHICH ARE DETAILED IN THE ENCLOSED COPY OF THE FINAL REPORT ON THE PROGRAM. RECENTLY, THE DEPT., IN A ONE DOT EFFORT, WORKING WITH NHTSA, THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, AND THE FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION, HAS MERGED VEHICLE FOCUSED INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS ACTIVITIES INTO A MULTIAGENCY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM CALLED THE INTELLIGENT VEHICLE INITIATIVE (IVI). IT IS FOCUSED ON ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT, AVAILABILITY, AND USE OF DRIVING ASSISTANCE AND CONTROL INTERVENTION SYSTEMS TO REDUCE MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES. FOUR MOTOR VEHICLE TYPES ARE INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM: PASSENGER, COMMERCIAL, TRANSIT, AND SPECIALTY. FOLLOWING RESEARCH AND COMMERCIAL IN REAL WORLD SETTINGS WILL BE DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONAL TESTING DONE. MINDFUL OF THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION ON THIS SUBJECT, THE DEPT. ISSUED A SOLICITATION ON 12/9/98, FOR PROPOSALS TO CONDUCT FIELD TESTING IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE PERFORMANCE OF NEWLY DEVELOPMENT ADVANCED SAFETY SYSTEMS. THE EVALUATION WILL INVOLVE THOROUGH TESTING IN REAL OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS TO DETERMINE THE PERFORMANCE OF SENSORS, PROCESSING ALGORITHMS, AND DRIVER-VEHICLE INTERFACES, ESPECIALLY THE DRIVER'S ABILITY TO EASILY UNDERSTAND AND EFFECTIVELY USE THE PROPOSED SAFETY SYSTEMS. PROPOSALS IN RESPONSE TO THIS INITIATION HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND ARE BEING EVALUATED. SOME OF THE PROPOSALS INVOLVE TESTING COLLISION-WARNING SYSTEMS ON COMMERCIAL VEHICLES. AWARDS TO WINNING APPLICANTS WILL BE MADE IN SEPTEMBER 1999.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 8/11/1997
Response: THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT AS PART OF THE DOT'S INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS PROGRAM, THE NTHSA, IS CURRENTLY CONDUCTING AS OPERATIONAL TEST TO EVALUATE INTELLIGENT CRUISE CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR PASSENGER CARS. THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED, HOWEER, TO LEARN THAT THE DOT HAS NO PLANS FOR CONDUCTING AN OPERATIONAL TEST OF REAR-END COLLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS FOR HEAVY TRUCKS. THE BOARD FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT INDUSTRY-WIDE INCORPORATION OF ADVANCED SYSTEMS MUST BE PRECEDED BY INTENSIVE PRACTICAL TESTING IN COMMERCIAL FLEETS, EXTENSIVE DEMONSTRATION OF THE SYSTEM BENEFITS, & COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING OF THE FINAL OPERATORS. THE BOARD URGES THE DOT TO RECONSIDER ITS POSITION ON THIS MATTER & TO INCLUDE, IN DOT'S COMMERCIAL VEHICLE OPERATIONS PROGRAM, THE FLEET TESTING OF COLLISION WARNING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE INDUSTRY WITHOUT DELAY. PENDING YOUR REVIEW OF OUR COMMENTS, H-95-44 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: DOT
To: NTSB
Date: 4/10/1997
Response: THE DOT HAS NO PLANS FOR CONDUCTING AN OPERATIONAL TEST OF REAR END COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS FOR HEAVY TRUCKS. NHTSA IS CURRENTLY CONDUCTING AN OPERATIONAL TEST TO EVALUATE INTELLIGENT CRUISE CONTROL (ICC) SYSTEM FOR PASSENGER CARS. THE PROGRAM IS ALSO INVESTIGATING SYSTEMS TO ENHANCE DRIVERS' VISION AT NIGHT & IN INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, & AUTOMATICALLY NOTIFY EMERGENCY RSPONSE PERSONNEL IN THE EVENT OF A COLLISION. THE ICC PROGRAM BEGAN IN SPETEMBER 1995 & IS SCHEDULED TO BE COMPLETED IN SEPTEMBER 1997.