SPECIAL STUDY: INADEQUATE STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY OF SCHOOLBUS BODIES--THE ACCIDENTS AT DECATUR AND HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA

SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENTS THAT INVOLVED A COLLISION BETWEEN A TRAIN AND A SCHOOL BUS INDICATED THAT THE STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLY OF SCHOOL BUS BODIES MIGHT BE INADEQUATE. THE EXAMPLES OF INJURIES IN THESE ACCIDENTS ARE REVIEWED AND IT IS EXPLAINED HOW THE DESIGN OF JOINTS AND FASTENINGS WAS INVOLVED IN THE INJURIES AND IN THE STRUCTURAL STRENGTH OF SCHOOL BUSES. SCHOOL BUS CONSTRUCTION IS COMPARED WITH CONSTRUCTION OF OTHER TYPES OF BUSES WHICH EMPLOY MORE EFFICIENT AND COMPLETE FASTENINGS. THE STUDY RELATES ENTIRELY TO THE TYPE OF SCHOOL BUS WHICH IS MANUFACTURED BY ATTACHING A SCHOOL BUS BODY TO A TRUCK CHASSIS. NO REVIEW IS MADE OF THE INTEGRAL-BODY-AND-CHASSIS TYPE OF SCHOOL BUS WHICH CONSTITUTES LESS THAN 10% OF TOTAL PRODUCTION. THE FACTORS ARE ALSO DISCUSSED OF COST, SAFETY BENEFITS, AND JUSTICE FACTORS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHILD PASSENGERS INVOLVED. THE ANALYSIS SHOWED THAT INTERIOR PANELS PRESENT EXPOSED SHARP EDGES BECAUSE THE WIDELY SPACED AND INADEQUATE FASTENINGS AT JOINTS FAIL OR ALLOW EDGES TO BE RAISED BETWEEN FASTENERS IN SCHOOL BUS CRASHES. THE JOINTS EMPLOYED TO JOIN STRUCTURAL MEMBERS AND POTENTIAL LOAD CARRYING PANELS IN SCHOOL BUSES OFTEN ARE INADEQUATE BECAUSE THEY EMPLOY RELATIVELY FEW FASTENERS AND DO NOT DEVELOP MORE THAN A SMALL FRACTION OF STRUCTURAL STRENGTH WHICH IS POTENTIALLY AVAILABLE. OTHER TYPES OF BUSES, SUCH AS INTERCITY BUSES AND CITY TRANSIT BUSES, EXHIBIT MUCH MORE ADEQUATE JOINING OF STRUCTURAL LOAD CARRYING PANELS THAN DO SCHOOL BUSES. IT IS FELT UNDERSIRABLE TO ALLOW THIS SOURCE OF INJURY TO CONTINUE IN THE SCHOOL BUS FIELD, WHEN IT IS VOLUNTARILY CONTROLLED IN THE INTERCITY AND TRANSIT BUSES.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Rpt No Ntsb-HSS-70-2, 25PP, 12 FIG
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1970-7

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00223338
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 19 1970 12:00AM