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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-13-031
Details
Synopsis: On Thursday, February 16, 2012, about 8:15 a.m. eastern standard time, near Chesterfield, New Jersey, a Garden State Transport Corporation 2012 IC Bus, LLC, school bus was transporting 25 kindergarten–sixth-grade students to Chesterfield Elementary School. The bus was traveling north on Burlington County Road (BCR) 660 through the intersection with BCR 528, while a Herman’s Trucking Inc. 2004 Mack roll-off1 truck with a fully loaded dump container was traveling east on BCR 528, approaching the intersection. The school bus driver had stopped at the flashing red traffic beacon and STOP sign. As the bus pulled away from just forward of the white stop line on BCR 660 and entered the intersection, it failed to yield to the truck and was struck behind the left rear axle. The bus rotated nearly 180 degrees and subsequently struck a traffic beacon support pole. One bus passenger was killed. Five bus passengers sustained serious injuries, 10 bus passengers and the bus driver received minor injuries, and nine bus passengers and the truck driver were uninjured. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determines that the probable cause of the Chesterfield, New Jersey, crash was the school bus driver’s failure to observe the Mack roll-off truck, which was approaching the intersection within a hazardous proximity. Contributing to the school bus driver’s reduced vigilance were cognitive decrements due to fatigue as a result of acute sleep loss, chronic sleep debt, and poor sleep quality, in combination with, and exacerbated by, sedative side effects from his use of prescription medications. Contributing to the severity of the crash was the truck driver’s operation of his vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit, in addition to his failure to ensure that the weight of the vehicle was within allowable operating restrictions. Further contributing to the severity of the crash were the defective brakes on the truck and its overweight condition due to poor vehicle oversight by Herman’s Trucking, along with improper installation of the lift axle brake system by the final stage manufacturer—all of which degraded the truck’s braking performance. Contributing to the severity of passenger injuries were the nonuse or misuse of school bus passenger lap belts; the lack of passenger protection from interior sidewalls, sidewall components, and seat frames; and the high lateral and rotational forces in the back portion of the bus.
Recommendation: TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Once minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology are developed, require this technology to be installed on all newly manufactured highway vehicles.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Chesterfield, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY12MH007
Accident Reports: School Bus and Truck Collision at Intersection
Report #: HAR-13-01
Accident Date: 2/16/2012
Issue Date: 9/9/2013
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: NHTSA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 3/11/2019
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Notice of Request for Comments (RFC), “V2X Communications,” published at 83 Federal Register 246, December 26, 2018. For more than two decades, DOT has engaged in research; completed funded deployment programs; and developed proposed standards for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communications—collectively referred to as vehicle-to-everything (V2X). DOT has focused on dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) as the primary communications medium for deployment of V2X technologies. In 2013, the NTSB further evaluated the advantages of connected vehicle technology in the investigation of a fatal intersection crash near Chesterfield, New Jersey, in which a school bus drove into the path of a dump truck, resulting in the death of one child and the injury of several others. The NTSB determined that had V2V technology been available on the vehicles, the school bus driver would have received warnings of the approaching truck and the crash may have been avoided. As a result of the investigation, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and 31 to NHTSA to develop minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles and to require that the technology be installed on all newly manufactured vehicles. On August 10, 2018, in our most recent response to NHTSA, we discussed that—though these recommendations were issued 5 years ago—little progress has been made toward their implementation, and no further action has been taken since the 2017 NPRM. Pending significant action toward accomplishing these recommendations, they were classified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” In addition to the slow pace of activity, we were also concerned that the 2017 NPRM focused on light vehicles only. Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31 apply to all vehicles—light and heavy.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 8/14/2018
Response: We note that you published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning a V2V mandate in January 2017. In our response to the NPRM, we expressed concern that the proposed mandate was limited to light vehicles. Following the investigation of the Williston, Florida, crash, which involved a tractor-semitrailer truck and a car using an automated driving system, we reiterated our concern that heavy vehicles were not included in the NPRM. More crashes can be prevented and more lives saved by incorporating V2V technologies across the entire fleet. We issued these recommendations 5 years ago, yet little progress has been made toward their implementation, and no further action has been taken since the 2017 NPRM. Pending significant action toward accomplishing these recommendations, Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31 are classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/7/2018
Response: -From Heidi R. King, Deputy Administrator: On January 12, 2017, NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing to establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 150, "vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications" to mandate V2V communications for new light vehicles and to standardize the message and format of V2V transmissions. Connected vehicle technologies are intended to provide an information environment in which vehicle and device manufacturers can create and implement applications to improve safety and mobility. NHTSA has not yet made any final decision on the proposed rulemaking concerning a V2V mandate. As the agency is deliberating its next steps with respect to the light vehicle V2V rulemaking, we note technology needs for heavy vehicles are far more complicated than those required for passenger cars and light trucks. As we conduct research into many of these complicating factors, including issues with tractor-trailer communications, transit buses, retrofit of existing vehicles, human factors, safety pilot programs, and potential safety benefits, we are in the process of launching several new research programs seeking to build upon our existing body of knowledge. At this time, we request NTSB classify Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and H-13-31 as "Open - Acceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 11/13/2017
Response: We commend your efforts to develop and mandate connected vehicle standards for passenger vehicles; however, we are disappointed that you did not include heavy vehicles in your rulemaking. Although we recognize that the technology needs for heavy vehicles are more complex than those of passenger vehicles, we are also aware that you have researched ways to address these differences. We urge you to expand applicability of your proposed rulemaking to all highway vehicles, as recommended. Pending such action, Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31 are classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 9/28/2017
Response: On September 12, 2017, the NTSB adopted its report Collision Between a Car Operating With Automated Vehicle Control Systems and a Tractor-Semitrailer Truck Near Williston, Florida, May 7, 2016, NTSB/HAR-17/02. 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 three new recommendations and two reiterated recommendations issued to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which can be found on pages 43 and 44 of the report. These are Safety Recommendations H-13-030 and H-13-031. 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. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number. Excerpt from the report regarding the reiteration of H-13-030 and H-13-031: 2.8 Connected Vehicle Technology and V2V Requirements V2V systems transmit warnings and basic safety information (speed, position, heading, brake status, etc.) among vehicles. Intersection crashes, such as occurred in this case, are among the most frequent and fatal of crash types, accounting for 36 percent of all crashes (Choi 2010, p. v). For years, NHTSA has encouraged the development of connected vehicle technology and crash avoidance systems that could improve intersection safety. In a 2014 evaluation report, NHTSA announced plans for deploying V2V technology on heavy vehicles (Harding and others 2014, p. 10). For V2V systems to function properly, all vehicles on the roads must be equipped with on-board communication capabilities. Also, the communication spectrum frequency for Dedicated Short Range Communication Services must be allocated to intelligent vehicle technologies.70 In 1995, based on the investigation of a heavy truck crash that took place in Menifee, Arkansas, the NTSB recommended that the Federal Communications Commission allocate frequencies that would enhance collision warning systems (NTSB 1995).71 A 2015 NTSB Special Investigation Report includes a summary of the many recommendations concerning crash avoidance systems that the NTSB issued to NHTSA in the years following the Menifee investigation (NTSB 2015, p. 11), including V2V systems. In 2014, researchers categorized the precrash scenarios involving heavy trucks that could be addressed by V2V systems. Of the 37 scenarios considered, 17 were evaluated. The researchers found that a fully mature V2V system could potentially prevent about 267,000 police-reported crashes involving heavy trucks each year. The annual comprehensive costs of those crashes were estimated at $24.7 billion. Of the 17 scenarios evaluated, “straight crossing path at non-signalized intersection” (like the Williston crash) ranked second in terms of cost, accounting for over 15 percent of the total costs ($3.8 billion) (Toma and others 2014). A more recent simulation study for all types of vehicles estimated that 19–35 percent of straight crossing path intersection crashes could be prevented if both vehicles were equipped with intersection advanced driver assist systems (I-ADAS), a V2V technology designed for intersections (Scanlon, Sherony, and Gabler 2017). In July 2016, NHTSA released a report addressing V2V for heavy vehicles (Chang 2016). That report summarized research that began in the 1990s and covered the development of systems for integrated truck and retrofit V2V systems, including real-world evaluations (Safety Pilot Model Deployment) and test track experience. The report also addressed the safety benefits provided by V2V systems. The report stated that— Analysis of the potential safety benefits associated with heavy-vehicle V2V systems has shown good promise based on initial results. In 2013 there were 3,964 people killed and 95,000 people injured in crashes involving at least one large truck. Based on data from police-reported crashes, 70 percent of crashes involving trucks occurred in scenarios that could potentially be addressed by V2V systems. In early 2017, NHTSA proposed rulemaking on a new FMVSS for V2V communication technology.72 However, NHTSA’s proposed FMVSS 150 does not address V2V applications or requirements for heavy commercial vehicles. These vehicles travel more miles than light vehicles and are over-represented in fatal crashes; consequently, the omission of heavy commercial vehicles from FMVSS 150 is a missed opportunity to significantly improve highway safety. As the NTSB’s response to the proposed rule stated, “Widespread use throughout the vehicle fleet—including all heavy vehicles and motorcycles—is required to capitalize on the full lifesaving benefits of V2V technology” (NTSB 2017). Fusing V2V communication-based technology with vehicle-resident systems can enhance the safety benefits of vehicle automation systems. Such technology might have affected the outcome of the Williston crash. Increasing implementation of crash avoidance technologies is one of the NTSB’s Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements for 2017–2018. V2V technology could address potential crash situations (that is, intersection and left turn scenarios) that are challenging for current vehicle-resident safety systems (FCW and AEB) and other automated technologies. Moreover, V2V communications will provide a complementary source of information to vehicle-resident systems, improve the reliability and accuracy of data, extend the range of threat detection, and detect crash risks that are outside of a vehicle-resident sensor’s field of observation. The NTSB concludes that connected vehicle technology will be most effective when all vehicles traveling on our roadways are equipped with the technology, and that is particularly important with respect to large, heavy trucks that pose the highest risk of injury to occupants of other vehicles. Following an investigation into a 2012 collision between a school bus and a heavy truck near Chesterfield, New Jersey, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31 to NHTSA, which read as follows (NTSB 2013): H-13-30 Develop minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles. H-13-31 Once minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology are developed, require this technology to be installed on all newly manufactured highway vehicles. The status of these two recommendations is “Open—Initial Response Received.” It has been 4 years since the NTSB issued these recommendations. The Williston crash serves as a reminder of how the installation of V2V technology on heavy trucks could improve the safety of traffic on our nation’s roadways. Because NHTSA’s recent rulemaking on proposed FMVSS 150 does not address these heavy vehicles, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31.

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 3/29/2017
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS): V2V Communications,” published at 82 Federal Register (FR) 3854, January 12, 2017. NHTSA proposes to create a new FMVSS, No. 150, to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications for all new light vehicles and to standardize the message and format of V2V transmissions. The new standard will support vehicle and device manufacturers in creating and implementing applications to improve safety, mobility, and the information environment. The NTSB enthusiastically supports this proposed rulemaking and believes that V2V technology will reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our nation’s highways, and enhance the capabilities of currently available collision avoidance and automated technologies. Benefits of V2V Safety Technology The NTSB has a long history of advocating for standards, rulemaking, and industry adoption of collision avoidance systems. Our response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on this subject summarizes related NTSB investigations and recommendations history.4We first addressed collision warning technology as a major safety issue during the investigation of a 1995 multivehicle collision in Menifee, Arkansas, which was caused by drivers entering an area of dense fog at speeds that precluded evasive action to avoid striking stopped vehicles.5 From this investigation, and our analysis of several other crashes, the NTSB determined that, in many cases, the advance warning provided by a vehicle-resident system would be insufficient, especially when accounting for a driver’s time to recognize and react to a hazard. We further concluded that communications-based technology was needed to achieve an enhanced level of warning capable of increased range. V2V messaging offers an operational range of 928 feet, at minimum, between vehicles?which is nearly double the detection distance afforded by currently available vehicle-resident systems. This increased range offers more time to warn a driver of impending hazards and more time for a driver to react. Furthermore, V2V technology does not share the system limitations of vehicle-resident sensors and cameras, which can be affected by weather conditions, sunlight, shadows, or cleanliness. In addition to providing increased range and improved capability in adverse environmental conditions, V2V technology will help prevent intersection crashes. This technology is not restricted by the same line-of-sight limitations as crash avoidance technologies, which rely on vehicle-resident sensors. In 2012, the NTSB identified the need for V2V technology during the investigation of an intersection crash near Chesterfield, New Jersey, where a school bus drove into the path of a dump truck, resulting in the death of one child and five students being seriously injured.6 We determined that had V2V technology been available on the involved vehicles, the school bus driver would have received active warnings of the approaching truck and the crash may have been avoided. As a result of this crash investigation, we issued safety recommendations to NHTSA to develop minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles and to require that the technology be installed on all newly manufactured vehicles. Safety Recommendations H-13-30 and -31 are classified “Open-Initial Response Received.”

From: NHTSA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/1/2016
Response: -From Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator: On August 20, 2014, NHTSA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register (79 FR 49270) detailing its initial research on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technologies and potential regulatory performance requirements. The ANPRM focused on passenger cars and light trucks and intended to address heavy vehicle applicability through a separate rulemaking action. The NTSB commented that while the proposed requirements are a step in the right direction, the type of vehicles involved in the Chesterfield crash would not be covered by the ANPRM since they weighed more than 10,000 pounds. As the agency is deliberating its next steps with respect to the V2V rulemaking, we plan to publish a technical report within the next month summarizing the agency's research to date on heavy vehicle applications ofV2V technologies. We note that the technology needs for heavy vehicles are far more complicated than those required for passenger cars and light trucks. This report will touch on our research into many of these complicating factors, including issues with tractor-trailer communications, transit buses, retrofit of existing vehicles, human factors, safety pilot programs, and potential safety benefits. We are also in the process of launching several new research programs seeking to build upon our existing body of knowledge. At this time, we request these recommendations be classified as "Open- Acceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: NHTSA
Date: 10/16/2014
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), entitled “Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications,” published at 79 Federal Register 161 on August 20, 2014. NHTSA proposes to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), FMVSS No. 150 that would: (1) require V2V communications capability for new passenger vehicles and light trucks and (2) create minimum performance requirements for V2V devices and messages. NHTSA believes this standard would facilitate the development and introduction of advanced vehicle safety applications. While the NTSB appreciates the intent of the proposed rulemaking, we believe the standard should be expanded to include all highway vehicles. Additionally, NHTSA should do more to promote what the ANPRM refers to as “vehicle-resident” safety systems, which are best poised to facilitate future integration with V2V technology, and address the limitations of V2V technology in the initial stages of deployment. We also addressed communication-based vehicle safety technologies during our investigation of a 2012 crash near Chesterfield, New Jersey, in which a dump truck struck the left rear side of a school bus at a county road intersection. In this collision, one child was killed and five sustained serious injuries. As a result of this crash, we issued the following two safety recommendations to NHTSA that pertain to communication-based technology: H-13-30 Develop minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology for all highway vehicles. H-13-31 Once minimum performance standards for connected vehicle technology are developed, require this technology to be installed on all newly manufactured highway vehicles. The recommendations are currently classified as “Open—Await Response.” This ANPRM represents a good initial step toward addressing these two recommendations. The Chesterfield crash represents one of the scenarios, as identified in the report accompanying this ANPRM, that could have been successfully mitigated by V2V technology?specifically intersection movement assist, a system described in the ANPRM. However, because both vehicles in this crash were over 10,000 pounds and the current proposed rulemaking does not include vehicles over 10,000 pounds, the potential for similar crashes to occur would continue to exist unless the rulemaking is expanded to address all highway vehicles.