Report on a head-on collision on Norwegian National road 55 at Nornes in Sogn and Fjordane county 11 April 2018

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Description

On Wednesday 11 April 2018, a tanker truck collided with an oncoming passenger car on Norwegian National road 55 at Nornes in Sogn and Fjordane county. The driver of the passenger car was severely injured and later died of the injuries that he was inflicted in the collision. The tanker truck was driving under the command of the local fire department, and driving with blue emergency lights on the way to the accident site.

The investigation has shown that there is no requirement for submitting documentation that maintenance training with emergency vehicles has been carried out in connection with renewal of the certificate of competence for drivers of emergency vehicles every five years.

The investigation has also shown that a high asphalt edge of about 14 cm contributed to the tank truck skidding uncontrollably to the left side of the road when colliding with the oncoming passenger car.

The tanker truck lost control and started skidding after being off the road on the right hand side of a turn. The vehicle then came across the road onto the opposite driving lane where it hit the oncoming passenger car, which was squeezed against a longitudinal concrete railing.

The driver of the passenger car was alone in the car when the accident occurred. The driver was severely injured, and later died of the injuries he was inflicted.

The investigation has shown that low tire pressure in combination with tilt may have contributed to the tanker truck getting out of control and ending up outside the roadway on the right hand side of the road. The tanker truck was of an older model, and was not equipped with a driver support system.

The driver of the tanker truck was familiar with the particular stretch of road on which the accident happened and had extensive experience with emergency driving, both with light and heavy vehicles. He had driven the tanker truck on assignments earlier, but not in relation to emergency driving. The investigation has shown that there are different practices when it comes to the use of lightweight and heavy duty vehicles in relation to maintenance training. The AIBN is critical to the fact that lightweight vehicles are being used for maintenance training, and believe it is important that drivers in the fire department are familiar with the driving characteristics of heavy vehicles used for emergency assignments and any delimitations such vehicles may have.

The investigation has shown that there is no requirement for submitting documentation that maintenance training with emergency vehicles has been carried out in connection with renewal of the certificate of competence for drivers of emergency vehicles every five years. The AIBN recommends that this practice is changed.

The investigation has also shown that a high asphalt edge of about 14 cm contributed to the tanker truck skidding uncontrollably to the left side of the road when colliding with the oncoming passenger car. The AIBN recommends that serious deviations in height differences between asphalt and side terrain is corrected on particularly risky sites.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2019/05T

The investigation into the accident on road Rv. 55 in Sogndal on 11 April 2018 involving a tanker and a passenger car has shown that Sogn fire and rescue service IKS did not have adequate systems in place to ensure that its personnel completed skills maintenance training in accordance with the requirements set out in the emergency driving regulations. There is no requirement for documentation of completed skills maintenance training to be submitted in connection with the renewal of the certificate of professional competence for drivers of emergency vehicle every five years. The regulations require all drivers of emergency vehicles to have the skills required for the relevant type of work and vehicle at all times, and the AIBN takes a critical view of the fact that there is no specific requirement for skills maintenance training in driving heavy vehicles.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration consider introducing a requirement for documentation of skills maintenance training in connection with renewal of the certificate of professional competence for drivers of emergency vehicles, code 160.

Safety recommendation ROAD No 2019/06T

The investigation into the accident on road Rv. 55 in Sogndal on 11 April 2018 involving a tanker and a passenger car has shown that the height of the tarmac edge, which was about 14 cm, contributed to the tanker skidding out of control when the tanker’s right wheel pair returned to the roadway and veering to the left before colliding with an oncoming passenger car. There have been several incidents of vehicles driving off the road in the same area. The investigation has identified a need for better follow-up and repair and levelling off of high tarmac edges at high-risk points in the old road network. In particular, such measures should be implemented in places where increased risk has been documented through incidents or risk assessments that demonstrate that the driving conditions are challenging.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration Region West repair serious non-conformities in terms of height differences between the tarmac edge and the roadside terrain in particularly high-risk locations.

Location
National Road 55 near Nornes in Sogn og Fjordane county
Occurrence date
11.04.2018
Accident type
Head-on collision
Road class
National road
County
Sogn og Fjordane
Police Disctrict
Sogn og Fjordane
Vehicle type
Lorry, Passenger car
Type of Transportation
Transfer work/assignment
Road region
Western Region
Accident category
Ulykke m/ kjøretøy over 7500 kg
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