The NHTSA is working to make motorcoach crashes safer, and a recent rule has taken a major step in that direction. The rule addresses the number of occupant ejections in motorcoach crashes. The NHTSA’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System tracks fatal motorcoach crashes, and occupant ejections represent the majority of motorcoach fatalities. Of these, ejections account for 78% of fatalities in motorcoach rollover crashes and 28% of fatalities in non-rollover crashes.
ejection of passengers
The NHTSA has issued a rule aimed at reducing passenger ejections in motorcoach crashes. It is an important goal because it accounts for almost a quarter of fatalities in motorcoach crashes. According to the Fatal Analysis Reporting System, ejections are responsible for most of the deaths in motorcoach rollover crashes, while passenger ejections are responsible for a second-highest proportion of passenger fatalities in non-rollover crashes.
The NPRM proposes to implement a number of measures to reduce ejection in motorcoaches. First, the NPRM establishes a definition for “motorcoach” to distinguish it from other types of buses. According to the NPRM, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) for motorcoaches must be appropriate for the type of vehicle. Thus, the proposed FMVSS does not apply to other bus types.
Cost of installing seat belts
Seat belts are required in new motor coaches starting in 2016, but only about 20 percent of existing buses have them. According to federal safety officials, seat belts with shoulder and lap straps reduce the RV Repair Las Vegas risk of fatal injuries and prevent occupants from being ejected during a rollover crash.
Although seat belts are necessary for passenger safety, the initial cost to retrofit a motorcoach can be prohibitive. Retrofitting isn’t a cost-effective option for many companies and can even put some smaller operators out of business. However, there are funding programs available for operators to purchase new motorcoaches with seat belts installed. Alternatively, operators can install after-market seat belts, but these are unreliable and divert funds from other safety efforts, maintenance and training.
Impact on small businesses
The motorcoach industry is asking the federal government for $15 billion in assistance. They say the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 71% decrease in business and has forced them to lay off or furlough tens of thousands of employees. As a result, they are asking for changes to the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
The motorcoach industry is currently seeking $15 billion in federal assistance, which includes $5 billion in federal grants and $10 billion in loans to keep their businesses afloat. This funding is aimed at saving the industry from collapse. The industry has become so strained that many companies have been forced to apply for Small Business Administration grants in order to survive. Over 90 percent of these companies are family-owned and employ close to 100,000 workers.
Priority areas for motorcoach safety
NHTSA’s priority areas for motorcoach safety include passenger seat belts, rollover structural integrity, emergency egress, and fire safety. The goal is to prevent fatalities and injuries, as well as improve the quality of travel. The agency’s research focuses on identifying the major factors affecting safety and performance. To improve motorcoach safety, focus groups have been organized to gather information from drivers and inspectors.
While motorcoach fatal crashes are rare in the United States, they can still result in significant injuries and fatalities. One fatal crash in 2011 involved 15 people and left 17 other people injured. In the same year, 23 motorcoach crashes were investigated by the NTSB. These crashes are particularly dangerous for passenger vehicles.