Entry page » Investigation reports » Other accidents » Investigation reports by year » 2015 » Y2015-02 A collision between a passenger car and a bus in Karkkila on 4 July 2015

Y2015-02 A collision between a passenger car and a bus in Karkkila on 4 July 2015

On Saturday, 4 July 2015, a collision occurred between a passenger car and a bus carrying a group of pensioners on the Finnish national road 2, approximately four kilometres north of the centre of Karkkila. The passenger car, which was driving towards Pori, suddenly moved to the oncoming lane right before the collision and hit the left front part of the bus. The bus driver had no time to brake or avoid the passenger car. The passenger car was destroyed in the collision and ended up in the ditch beside the road. The bus also ran off the road and tipped over on its left side.

The first rescue unit arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the collision. The first aid and rescue response alerted was adequate and the management model used was functional. The accident was fairly large in scale, but fully within the capabilities of the alerted authorities.

The person driving the passenger car perished in the accident. The bus had a total of 19 people in it, of which the driver and six passengers were seriously injured. The rest of the passengers suffered minor injuries, though these injuries did have a clear impact on their ability to function.

Many of the passengers suffered facial injuries due to their heads hitting the protruding armrests of the seats in front of them. The passenger seats were equipped with two-point seat belts, or so-called lap belts. Three-point seat belts would have most likely prevented or at least mitigated the passengers' facial injuries in particular. Six of the passengers were not wearing seat belts. Bus passengers have been required by law to wear seat belts since 2006.

The light front structure of the bus contributed in part to the effects of the accident. The front of the bus was not equipped with underrun protection.

There are no requirements for bus traffic regarding safety management, accident prevention and accident preparation in the way that there are for other forms of traffic, such as flight and railway traffic.

It is evident that the accident was a suicide. The driver had been suffering from long-term life management and mental health problems, which his family members and health care services had been attempting to assist him with.

Recently the suicide rate in Finland has been hovering just under 900 suicides per year, out of which approximately 20 per year are performed in the form of vehicle collisions. Suicides cause severe suffering for the people close to the person performing them. Road traffic suicides are additionally characterised by the fact that they also endanger and cause suffering to bystanders, and in some cases damage the environment.

Based on its investigation, the Safety Investigation Authority is issuing six safety recommendations.

• The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health should launch a new special suicide prevention programme and make it a national health objective to significantly reduce the number of suicides, similar to other Nordic countries.

• The Finnish Transport Safety Agency should propose an amendment to the E regulations to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) regarding the reinforcement of the front structure of heavy vehicles and the protection of their steering equipment in the event of a collision.

• The Finnish Transport Safety Agency should propose an amendment to the E regulations to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) regarding a change in the structure of the back part of seats for the purpose of making them safer, by adding padding and removing hard protrusions located right in the front of passengers.

• The Finnish Transport Safety Agency should propose an amendment to the E regulations to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) regarding equipping the seats of category M2 and M3 vehicles with lap and shoulder belt type seat belts, i.e. three-point seat belts.

• The Finnish Transport Safety Agency should propose an amendment to the E regulations to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) regarding equipping bus seats with seat-specific seat belt reminder indicators.

• The Ministry of Transport and Communications should prepare regulations for implementing a safety management system for the entire bus transport sector.

Y2015-02 report, in finnish (pdf, 2.25 Mt)

Annex 2, Accimap, in finnish (pdf, 0.01 Mt)

 
Published 24.5.2016