Charolles english summary
On the night of 7 to 8 January 2017, at about 04:12, a bus pulling a trailer, which was transporting 32 people from Portugal to Switzerland, drove off the Nation Road No. 79 at the exit of a viaduct in the municipality of Charolles (Saône-et-Loire department).
This accident cost the lives of 4 people, all passengers on the bus. It also resulted in the hospitalisation of 28 people (3 in critical condition and 25 in critical but stable condition).
The direct cause of this loss of control is most likely an excessive driving speed with regard to the state of the roadway, with a bus whose rear tires were overinflated, thus with reduced adherence, and that was pulling a trailer with faulty brakes.
The analysis of the causes and circumstances of this accident by BEA-TT didn’t lead to the issuance of specific recommendations, apart from the reminder of the basic rules of the highway code for driving vehicles, especially driving with caution when the road’s skid resistance is degraded due to bad weather conditions, checking the state of the vehicle, the obligation to wear a seatbelt, which would have decreased the dramatic outcome of this accident.