Thillois english summary
On Thursday 14 June 2007 at about 08.45, a coach registered in Luxembourg, driving on the A4 autoroute (Strasbourg to Paris direction), hit a signage trailer (Luminous Arrow - FLR) being used by SANEF, the autoroute’s operator to mark roadworks on the autoroute in Thillois near Reims (51).
The coach then hit the lorry that was pulling the trailer which then halted the coach. In the collision all of the right hand side of the coach’s drivers cab was smashed.
The total number of casualties in this accident was 3 dead, 3 seriously wounded and 22 slightly injured.
The direct cause of the accident was the lack of attention on the part of the coach driver who took his eyes off the road in order to find a selector button for the audio/video system.
Two other factors also played a part :
The absence of any prior familiarity training by the driver who was driving a coach he had never driven before
the not very good layout and design of the controls of the audio/video system on the coach
In addition, the signing of autoroute road works which did not favour readability in this particular context, could equally have contributed to the accident.
The investigation looked at four areas :
the organisation of the journey
the arrangement of the coach’s controls
the behaviour of the driver
the signing of the autoroute works
This analysis led to the issuing of five recommendations, of which one concerned organisation of coach journeys, two concerned the vehicle’s instrumentation and two others concerned the signing of road works using an FLR.