An accident in Indiana Jan.1 involving a motorcoach and a pickup truck could have been much worse had it not been for the bus that was equipped with seat belts, an improved stability system, and a well-trained driver.
Although the driver of the pickup was killed when he lost control and veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a Royal Excursion charter bus in La Porte County, police at the scene were amazed that the bus remained upright after it went off the road through a shallow ditch and travelled 500 feet through a field.
Commenting on the accident, Dan Ronan, senior director of Communication, American Bus Association, told LCT Magazine that “the accident is an example of how improved motorcoach safety initiatives saved lives.”
Ronan noted all new motor coaches, including the 2013 charter bus involved in the accident, are equipped with three-point seat belts and better stability control that help coaches stay upright in an emergency. Although the bus driver and 15 passengers were injured, police at the scene said had the bus turned over, there would have been more casualties.
Even though the government in November issued a rule requiring lap and shoulder seat belts for each passenger and driver seat on new motorcoaches, Ronan said all new vehicles coming off the assembly line already include seat belts. “We have been ahead of the government on this issue and improving safety is a priority for the motorcoach industry.”
--Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor
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