Report on the head-on collision on the E16 road at Nakkagjelstunnelen in Hordaland on 16 October 2017

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Description

A coach and a heavy goods vehicle had a head-on collision on the E16 road at Nakkagjelstunnelen in Hordaland on 16 October 2017.

The AIBN considers it most likely that the accident was triggered by the bus driver having an ailment caused by the heart disease, and that the collision itself was a consequence of this. The busdriver died, and several passengers were injured.

The AIBN issues two safety recommendations in the areas seatbelt-reminder for bus passengers, and further research-based work aimed at work-related health risks for professional drivers.

A coach with 17 passengers drove from Voss to Bergen on 16 October 2017. At the end of the Nakkagjeltunnel, the bus drove into the opposite lane and hit the left-hand corner in the front wheel of an oncoming heavy goods vehicle. The sidewall of the truck was hooked on the inside of the A-beam of the bus, and penetrated the bus into the bus driver’s seat. The bus driver died and four passengers were hospitalized because of the accident.

Both the bus and the heavy goods vehicle stopped just over 40 meters away from the collision point, both on the wheels and on the road. This limited the potential of injury significantly, especially for the unsecured bus passengers. Less than half of the bus passengers were wearing a seat belt, although the bus driver actively encouraged the passengers to use this.

The autopsy of the bus driver after the accident, found traces of a previous heart attack, as well as extensive heart disease, injuries consistent with natural death. The AIBN considers it most likely that the accident was triggered by the bus driver having an ailment caused by the heart disease, and that the collision itself was a consequence of this. The bus driver had followed all the required checks and advice related to his own health condition. The AIBN consider that the findings in this investigation creates a need to look into health requirements, work-related health risks and individual follow-up for transport drivers on road, in order to increase knowledge in this area.

The AIBN issues two safety recommendations as a result of this investigation.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2018/09T

The investigation of the head-on collision between a coach and a heavy goods vehicle on 16 October 2017 shows the challenge of getting all bus passengers to use seatbelts, and how the lack use affects injury levels. In order to increase seatbelt usage among bus passengers, there is a need for a technical system for seatbelt-reminder in buses, as recommended by The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority after the accident in Härjedalen in 2017.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, in cooperation with other Nordic countries, plan to amend the regulations, so that seatbelt-reminder systems are also implemented in buses where seatbelts are installed.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2018/10T

The head-on collision between a coach and a heavy goods vehicle on 16 October 2017 was most likely due to the bus driver having an ailment, caused by heart disease. The bus driver had been granted an exemption from the health requirements in the driver's license regulation and had followed all the required health checks and tests. Professional transport drivers seem to be at greater risk of cardiovascular disease in general, and AIBN recognize a need for more knowledge about this.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, together with The National Institute of Occupational Health, initiate a research-study based on health requirements, work-related health risks and individual follow-up for professional transport drivers.

Location
E16, Nakkagjelstunnelen, Hordaland
Occurrence date
16.10.2017
Accident type
Head-on collision
Road class
European road
County
Hordaland
Police Disctrict
Hordaland
Vehicle type
Bus or coach, Truck and trailer
Type of Transportation
Freight transport, Passenger transport
Road region
Western Region
Accident category
Ulykke med buss
Skriv ut
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