Safety officials renew calls for blacks boxes on trucks and buses

Federal officials want to make black boxes, secondary exits, and safety briefings mandatory on motor coaches.

Federal officials say lives could be saved with better motor coach regulations

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently concluded its investigation into a deadly California bus and truck collision last year. According to the Washington Post, the investigation has led to a list of recommendations that could help prevent some bus and truck crashes and improve the chances of survival when they do happen. Many of the recommendations made by the NTSB, such as its call for black boxes on trucks and buses, have been made before but have yet to be acted upon by federal regulators.

A fiery collision

The accident that led to the NTSB's recent recommendations occurred on Interstate 5 in Orland, California on April 10, 2014. A large FedEx truck veered out of its lane and crossed the highway's grassy median, eventually colliding with a motor coach carrying high school students, according KRCR News. The collision and ensuing fire led to ten deaths, many of them caused by smoke inhalation, possibly because they had trouble getting out of the bus.

Evacuation plans

The nature of those deaths led the NTSB to call for secondary doors to be made mandatory on motor coaches so that passengers would have an alternative means of escape if the primary exit became blocked. Also, the NTSB claims that it suspects lives could have been saved in the Orland crash if passengers had been given a safety briefing prior to the trip. Those safety briefings, the NTSB says, should also be made mandatory on all motor coach journeys.

Better data collection

One of the NTSB's key recommendations following the crash is also one it has made in the past: black boxes on buses and trucks. Investigators point out that without data recorders on large commercial vehicles, they are significantly hampered in both their investigations and ultimately in improving safety in the trucking and motor coach industries. In the above crash, for example, investigators can only speculate on why the FedEx driver drove into oncoming traffic because the vehicle he was driving was not equipped with data recorders. While the NTSB can recommend such safety improvements, it is up to federal regulators to actually enact them.

Serious vehicle accidents

Anybody who has been involved in a collision with a truck or other large vehicle knows just how horrific such accidents can be. Even for those who are lucky enough to survive such serious accidents, the eventual medical bills and lost income can prove overly burdensome, which is why a personal injury attorney should be contacted right away. The right attorney can assist accident victims in understanding what legal options are available to them, including the possibility of recovering financial compensation.


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