Following the tragic crash of the Megabus coach on I-55 near Litchfield, Illinois, and in light of other recent incidents involving tire blowouts on passenger buses, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking into potential causes of these incidents.
Together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), FMCSA has conducted preliminary investigations that show potential safety concerns related to double-deck buses that may overload tires outside the suggested weight limit. Under some circumstances double-deck buses may be susceptible to exceeding the tire weight limit when loaded with passengers and luggage at full capacity. These risks can be avoided by properly loading passengers and cargo, and increasing pressure in tires on the rear wheels.
The advisory notice from FMCSA clearly highlights the dangers of this tire pressure issue.
The Advisory Bulletin states that safe motorcoach operators should have policies and procedures in place to monitor the loading of their vehicles, and take appropriate action (such as reducing passenger/cargo loads, distributing passengers throughout the bus, or increasing tire pressure) to ensure that they remain within the allowable tire weight rating and state vehicle weight limits. FMCSA is working with state officials to increase enforcement of these important safety provisions of federal and state laws.
A tire on a motorcoach loaded beyond its weight rating, operated at highway speeds for a significant period of time, is more likely to overheat and fail, potentially placing the safety of passengers and other motorists at risk. FMCSA takes this issue very seriously, and bus companies or vehicles that violate tire loading restrictions may be declared an imminent hazard and immediately placed out-of-service.
Whiting Law Group is a firm of experience and winning truck accident lawyers. If you have been injured in a bus or truck accident, contact Tim Whiting today on 877-936-7200 or use the free online case review form.