Improving Cutaway Bus Safety for Aging Passengers

There are safety issues with small shuttle and paratransit "cutaway" when used as transport for older adults - in terms of both crash safety and human factors. The proposed project aims to directly improve the rollover crash safety of cutaway buses while also examining the human factors and ergonomics (HF&E) safety issues specific to everyday use of this type of bus by seniors. Our first and major objective is to address a weakness in current cutaway bus construction that was identified in previous research carried out at the Crashworthiness and Impact Analysis Laboratory (CIAL) at Florida State University (FSU). CIAL's evaluation of five different manufacturers' designs using both finite element (FE) simulations and physical testing has revealed that in order to pass the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 220 School Bus Rollover Protection (FMVSS 220), every manufacturer is using an unbalanced design with strong roof bows but weak columns and connections. This research will design a reinforced frontal ring structure that will greatly improve dynamic rollover crashworthiness at no added manufacturing cost. The second objective is to begin to assess the human factors and ergonomics (HF&E) safety issues affecting current and future use of cutaway buses by older adults. Findings will be summarized in a "best practices" list with a distribution target of both: bus manufacturers and public transit agencies. The third objective is to determine, given the greater fragility of older adult passengers, whether there are mechanisms or types of injury specific to older adults in a cutaway bus rollover.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • 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: 0
  • 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