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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-04-017
Details
Synopsis: On April 4, 2002, about 8:19 a.m., a 15-passenger Ford E-350 van, driven by a 27-year-old driver and transporting six children to school, was southbound in the left lane of Interstate 240 in Memphis, Tennessee. The van was owned and operated by Tippy Toes Learning Academy, a private child care center. A witness driving behind the van stated that the vehicle was traveling about 65 mph when it drifted from the left lane, across two other lanes, and off the right side of the roadway. She said that she did not see any brake lights. The van then overrode the guardrail and continued to travel along the dirt and grass embankment until the front of the van collided with the back of the guardrail and a light pole. The rear of the van rotated counterclockwise and the front and right side of the van struck the bridge abutment at the Person Avenue overpass before coming to rest. The driver was ejected through the windshield and sustained fatal injuries. Four of the children sustained fatal injuries, and two were seriously injured.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS: Modify the guidance contained in the Roadside Design Guide to clearly provide designers with information on the design of roadway barrier systems in situations where the roadway curves or where the terrain, hazards, and barrier system could trap an errant vehicle behind the barrier system.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Memphis, TN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: hwy02MH015
Accident Reports: 15-Passenger Child Care Van Run-Off-Road Accident
Report #: HAR-04-02
Accident Date: 4/4/2002
Issue Date: 4/21/2004
Date Closed: 10/28/2013
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 10/28/2013
Response: We are pleased that AASHTO worked with the Federal Highway Administration to improve guidelines for the design of guardrail systems in curves and to address barrier system length of need. As the updates to the Roadside Design Guide satisfy the intent of Safety Recommendation H-04-17, it is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 8/29/2013
Response: -From Bud Wright, Executive Director: As we mentioned in a previous letter dated March 31, 2006, the memorandum was distributed to all state departments of transportation detailing updated guidelines by the Federal Highway Administration (FHW A). Since then, AASHTO has worked with FHW A to modify the Roadside Design Guide (RDG) in order to offer designers more detailed information for selecting appropriate guardrail systems in curves and with regard to the "length of need" of the barrier prior to objects. AASHTO feels that the recommendation H-04-017 was fully addressed by the publication of AASHTO's 2011 Roadside Design Guide, fourth edition, with updated Chapter Eight, which was revised by the AASHTO Technical Committee for Roadside Safety and FHW A to respond the NTSB's recommendation. The updated section 8.3.2, "Performance Characteristic of Terminals," and 8.3.3, "Site Grading Consideration for Terminals," now provides guidance that is applicable to NTSB recommendation H-04-0 17. In addition, ten free copies of the Roadside Design Guide were distributed to the State departments of transportation for use in designing and updating their barrier systems when appropriate. As indicated by the actions noted, AASHTO requests that recommendation H-04-017 be moved to Closed Acceptable Action. AASHTO will continue to work with our partners to provide a safer transportation system.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 7/23/2007
Response: The Safety Board notes that in October 2004, the FHWA distributed a memorandum to all FHWA Division Offices and all State departments of transportation detailing updated guidelines to NCHRP Report 350 (adopted in 1993 as the standard by which the crashworthiness of roadside hardware is judged) as a result of the Board’s report on the Memphis accident. AASHTO indicates that it will incorporate the updated information on barrier systems from the FHWA memorandum into the next revision of the Roadside Design Guide, currently underway. Additionally, AASHTO will continue to incorporate new research into the development of future revisions of its Roadside Design Guide. Accordingly, pending publication of the modified guidance on barrier systems, Safety Recommendation H-04-17 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 3/31/2006
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/3/2006 10:48:34 AM MC# 2060172: - From John Horsley, AASHTO: In response to a FHWA Memorandum in October 2004, which was distributed to all state departments of transportation, AASHTO will implement the recommendations from this memo into the next revision of the Roadside Design Guide. AASHTO will continue to incorporate new research into the development of the Roadside Design Guide.