Motorcoach Fire Safety Analysis: The Causes, Frequency, and Severity of Motorcoach Fires in the United States   [open pdf - 171KB]

"The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our nation's roads involving motor vehicles, and to further its work the agency set out to identify ways to reduce motorcoach fire risk. FMCSA's Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division contracted the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to perform a study to collect and analyze information from government, industry, and media sources on the causes, frequency, and severity of motorcoach fires in the United States, and to identify potential risk reduction measures. Volpe Center analysts only considered fires that were mechanical or electrical in origin, and that were neither the result of a collision nor arson. This study establishes an integrated incident database, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of risk trends and patterns, and provides recommendations that could result in fewer motorcoach fires and, in turn, safer roads and lives saved. Volpe Center analysts created a database on reported motorcoach fire incidents between 1995 and 2008 as a basis for the study. The resulting database consists of 899 records from the sources cited below spanning the years 1995--2008, with the 2004--2006 data being the most complete. Analysts constructed the database to facilitate analysis by location of origin, point of ignition, geographic and vehicle characteristics, inspection and maintenance histories, vehicle damage, and human injuries and fatalities. The data sources for this study included the U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) State Data System (SDS), and NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). R.L. Polk and Co. provided summaries of motorcoach registrations and detailed characteristics data. Additional motorcoach fire records were compiled by two major carriers and two insurance firms. Volpe Center analysts used independent sources to verify that incidents were applicable, to address missing or unknown field values, and to derive non-reported elements."

Public Domain
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Research and Innovative Technology Administration: http://ntl.bts.gov
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FIVE 2012: The 2nd Conference on Fire in Vehicles, Chicago, September 2012
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