WASHINGTON, D.C. — After investigating a fatal motorcoach crash in which a tire failed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all new motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds — which would include large school buses — be required to have tire pressure monitoring systems.
Such systems inform drivers of the actual tire pressures on their vehicles.
The recommendation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was one of several in response to the 2008 motorcoach accident in Sherman, Texas, that killed 17 people and injured 39.
In that accident, the right steer axle tire failed as the motorcoach approached a bridge at about 68 mph. The vehicle then went through the railing and off the bridge, falling about 8 feet and sliding about 24 feet on its side before coming to rest.
NTSB determined that the probable cause of the crash was the failure of the tire, due to an extended period of low-pressure operation, which resulted in sidewall, belting and body-ply separation within the tire, leading to loss of vehicle control.
To view a synopsis of the NTSB’s report on the crash and its recommendations to NHTSA and other organizations, click here.