Improving Cutaway Bus Safety for Aging Passengers

The main objective of this project was to improve safety of elderly passengers in paratransit buses in Florida and possibly, nationwide. Until now, crashworthiness of paratransit buses and safety of their passengers were assessed using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 220. This assessment was made based on quasi static roof tests of the buses. However, research studies revealed that such tests did not help at all in assessing crashworthiness of the buses during dynamic, rollover test. Instead, dynamic rollover tests, implemented in Europe (ECE R66) and worldwide (UN R66) were proven to have beneficial impact on improved passenger safety and they were adopted, in large part, into so called Florida Standard. This standard was used to assist a paratransit bus manufactured in constructing a prototype of a safer bus, which would meet the stringent dynamic, rollover standard at almost the same cost. A Champion bus was selected as a target for this study. This choice had the strongest impact on improved safety as Champion buses represent over 50% of over 300 paratransit buses acquired annually by the State of Florida. The new and crashworthy design of the bus was presented to Champion Bus Inc. Company and a new prototype was built. It was shipped for testing to Tallahassee. A rollover test was carried out in June 2014. While the new design of the frontal ring of the bus showed significant improvement, the back wall was weaker and failed the test. The researchers will continue to assist the Champion Bus Inc. in improving their bus.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $90800.00
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      University Transportation Centers Program
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

    • Performing Organizations:

      Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population

      Florida State University
      Tallahassee, FL  United States 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Wekezer, Jerry

    • Start Date: 20140109
    • Expected Completion Date: 20141223
    • Actual Completion Date: 20141223
    • Source Data: RiP Project 36868

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01530636
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC42, 03317-34715
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Jul 23 2014 1:01AM