Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-027
Details
Synopsis: On March 12, 2011, about 5:38 a.m., a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, headquartered in Brooklyn, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, and carrying 32 passengers. While in the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right, driving over the rumble strips on the right shoulder edge. The motorcoach then crossed over the 10-foot-wide paved shoulder and struck a strong-post W-beam guardrail, traveling about 480 feet alongside and on the guardrail, before finally overturning 90° onto its right side and flattening the guardrail. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a vertical highway signpost consisting of two vertical 8-inch-diameter steel tubular poles linked by cross-beam diagonal metal supports. The front roof also collided with a steel electrical box mounted to the sign support structure. After the motorcoach struck the support structure and electrical box, the two poles entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus. As a result of this accident, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS: Once barrier testing has been completed and selection guidelines have been developed, revise chapter 5 of the Roadside Design Guide to incorporate guidance for the selection of high-performance barriers used in new construction and rehabilitation projects; this guidance should specifically address the unique considerations of shielding commercial passenger vehicles from point hazards.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY11MH005
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Report #: HAR-12-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2011
Issue Date: 7/12/2012
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: From the NTSB Highway Accident Report “Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision with Vertical Highway Signpost, State Route 99, Livingston, California, August 2, 2016” HAR-17-03 Notation 57079: Motorcoaches transport 750 million passengers annually throughout the United States. Unlike other heavy commercial vehicles, a single bus or motorcoach can expose large numbers of people to the risk of death or injury. The NTSB concludes that though the risk of a motorcoach or bus striking a moderately severe point hazard in the clear zone is low compared to encountering a long slope hazard, the potential intrusion of a point hazard into the passenger compartment would, nonetheless, expose a large number of people to the risk of death or injury. As a result of the 2011 New York City crash, the NTSB recommended that AASHTO (NTSB 2012b): Once barrier testing has been completed and selection guidelines have been developed, revise chapter 5 of the Roadside Design Guide to incorporate guidance for the selection of high-performance barriers used in new construction and rehabilitation projects; this guidance should specifically address the unique considerations of shielding commercial passenger vehicles from point hazards. (H-12-27) After the New York City crash, AASHTO published the 2011 RDG, which included one additional subjective factor to consider when recommending higher performance traffic barriers.81 Safety Recommendation H-12-27 is classified “Open—Acceptable Response.” However, the 2011 RDG does not contain objective warrants for the use of higher performance traffic barriers. The NTSB concludes that the severity of the Livingston crash is directly attributable to the motorcoach striking the vertical highway signpost located within the clear zone, despite a barrier system being in place. Therefore, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-12-27 to AASHTO and reclassifies it OPEN-UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 5/23/2014
Response: This letter concerns 16 open safety recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials between 2002 and 2012. I understand that we received requests from your staff to speak at two of your July committee meetings regarding several of these open recommendations. I am pleased to inform you that NTSB staff members are available to attend both meetings. For the July 16, 2014, meeting in Portland, Maine, of the Technical Committee for Roadside Safety, Mr. Dan Walsh, General Engineer, Office of Highway Safety, and Ms. Julie Perrot, Highway Safety Recommendation Specialist, Office of the Managing Director, will make a presentation and be available to discuss the following 12 roadside barrier recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 12/3/2013
Response: We note that AASHTO is working with the FHWA to develop objective warrants for high-performance barriers and that AASHTO committees are assessing the adequacy of current barrier systems. We look forward to receiving periodic updates on the several National Cooperative Highway Research Program projects that are currently underway to provide additional guidance for barrier selection. Pending the establishment of barrier performance and selection guidelines capable of shielding from hazards and safely redirecting commercial passenger vehicles, Safety Recommendations H-12-25 through -27 are classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your efforts to improve barrier safety.

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 9/30/2013
Response: -From Bud Wright, Executive Director: As the results of the research and discussion noted above are available, AASHTO will work with FHWA to define the criteria for the selection of high-performance barriers with specific consideration for commercial passenger vehicles, and update the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide or other appropriate document.