NTSB releases report on Schoharie limousine crash

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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The National Transportation Safety Board released its safety recommendation report Wednesday on the October 6, 2018 limousine crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie.

The report details a number of findings primarily related to passenger safety and the lap/seat belt effectiveness of the stretch limo involved in the crash.

Top image shows side view postcrash 3D image of the limousine with an overlaid reconstruction of the vehicle’s precrash structure. Bottom image shows overhead view of postcrash 3D image of the limousine with an overlaid reconstruction of the vehicle’s precrash structure. (SOURCE: NTSB)

The NTSB found that while the crash was not survivable for the limo’s driver, the non-original seat and lap belts in the modified passenger compartment portion of the stretch limo were not properly designed for crash protection.

Following its findings, the NTSB report makes a number of recommendations to improve limo passenger safety in the future. The NTSB says lap/shoulder belt combinations provide greater protection than lap belts alone and should be installed as standard equipment in all limousines. The NTSB also stressed that seat belts must be easily accessible for passengers. If they are difficult to locate or use, passengers are less likely to use them, the NTSB says.

The NTSB’s recommendations include:

To the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Require lap/shoulder belts for each passenger seating position on all new vehicles modified to be used as limousines. (H-19-14)
  • Require that seating systems installed in new vehicles modified to be used as limousines meet minimum performance standards to ensure their integrity during a crash. (H-19-15)

To the New York State Department of Transportation:

  • As an addition to your regular state inspection process, ensure that seat belts are functional and accessible in all limousines in the state equipped with passenger seat belts. (H-19-16)

To the National Limousine Association:

  • Educate member limousine operators on the life-saving benefits of proper seat belt use, and recommend that they develop methods to (1) ensure that seat belts are functional and accessible to the passengers and (2) encourage passengers to use them. (H-19-17)

The NTSB also reiterated its recommendation that New York State enact legislation requiring seat belt use for all vehicle seating positions equipped with them.

READ THE FULL REPORT:  https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HSR1902.pdf

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