Report on head-on collision on European route E6 by Storfjord in Troms county 24 September 2017

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Description

24 September 2017, a passenger car collided head-on with a larger passenger van towing a caravan on the E6 road at Storfjord in Troms. The three people in the passenger car all died in the accident. Two persons in the larger car sustained lighter injuries as a result of the collision.

The investigation has shown that proper use of seat belts is important to reduce the extent of injuries in the event of accidents for both drivers and passengers. However, it has not been proven that incorrect use of seat belt have been decisive for the outcome in this case.

The investigation has shown that the big difference in weight between the vehicles had a significant bearing on the severity of the injuries sustained by the persons involved.

In the passenger car, there was survival space for all passengers, but long friction marks on several of the seat belts indicate major speed changes and high energy impact.

The investigation has shown that the persons in the passenger car were inflicted with more severe injuries than would otherwise have been the case as a result of incorrect use of seatbelts, but it has not been shown that this has been decisive for the outcome. The extent of the injuries may also have been affected by the fact that luggage moved forward and into the passenger compartment during the collision.

There was no central reserve, median barrier, enhanced centreline marking or centreline rumble strips on the stretch of road where the accident occurred. Such measures could have prevented or reduced the extent of damage in the head-on collision.

The AIBN also points out that all car buyers can improve traffic safety by choosing a type of vehicle that has driver support systems such as e.g. a lane keep assist system and/or a lane departure warning system.

The AIBN believes that the safety effect of choosing such equipment should be made better visible to the consumer as a contribution to improving traffic safety for oneself and others.

Based on this investigation, AIBN proposes three safety recommendations.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2019/01T

The investigation of the head-on collision on the E6 road in Storfjord on 24 September 2017 has shown that baggage from the boot most likely entered the passenger compartment as a result of the collision. The passenger car had no physical barrier in the form of a partitioning systems, like netting or wire mesh located above the level of the seatback and up to the ceiling, between the boot and the passenger compartment. The regulatory framework for securing of cargo in passenger cars contain no requirements for such barriers.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration establish regulations that ensure a physical barrier between the passenger compartment and the boot in cases where cargo is stored above the height of the back of the backseat in passenger cars.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2019/02T

The investigation of the head-on collision on the E6 road in Storfjord on 24 September 2017 has shown that the injuries sustained by one of the passengers in the passenger car were worsened by incorrect use of the seat belt. In the AIBN’s experience, there is still insufficient knowledge about the importance of both drivers and passengers using their seat belts correctly. The AIBN therefore finds that there is a potential for reducing the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries by intensifying efforts to inform the public about the correct adjustment and use of seat belts.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, in collaboration with relevant partner organisations, intensify its work to improve road users’ knowledge about and understanding of the importance of using safety equipment in cars correctly.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2019/03T

The investigation of the head-on collision on the E6 road in Storfjord on 24 September 2017 has shown that differences in the amount of energy between vehicles have a significant impact on the acceleration persons are exposed to in a head-on collision. The speed limit criteria are based on AADT and the expected injury costs per kilometre, but traffic composition is not taken into account. If there is a high proportion of heavy vehicles, this should be taken into account when stipulating a speed limit as an expression of the total amount of energy on the stretch of road in question.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration consider using traffic composition on the road as a basis for speed limit criteria.

Location
E6 Storfjord, Troms county
Occurrence date
24.09.2017
Accident type
Head-on collision
Road class
European road
County
Troms
Police Disctrict
Troms
Vehicle type
Passenger car
Type of Transportation
Private transport
Road region
Northern Region
Accident category
Annen ulykke
Skriv ut
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Reports same vehicle type