Mbl.is reports that the bus which rolled over yesterday morning in Southwest Iceland had summer tires.
Gunnar Þór Gunnarsson, spokesman for Skagverk, the company operating the bus, told Vísir the bus had good tires, although they were not studded.
Seventeen people were injured in the accident, at least five seriously, two of whom are in intensive care.
Skúli Þórðarson, specialist at the Icelandic Road Administration, stated that roads had been ploughed on Mosfellsheiði mountain, where the accident occurred, shortly before 7:30 am yesterday morning, since the road had been covered with slush. After that, the road was marked ‘easily passable’ in the Administration’s road system, accessible on its website, road.is.
Shortly after 9 am, another system of precipitation moved in, which was closely monitored by the Road Administration. “At 10:17, a plough truck is called to Mosfellsheiði to clear the road again,” Skúli explained, “since cameras then indicate an accumulation on the road again. At once, the road is updated to ‘slippery with snow showers.’”
Only a minute later, police received report of the accident.
The Road Administration had given out numerous warnings in previous days, alerting drivers of snow covered and slippery mountain roads, Skúli stated.
According to the Icelandic Transport Authority, snow chains and studded tires are prohibited between April 15 and October 31, unless driving conditions call for their use. Between November 1 and April 14, the required minimum tread depth of tires is 3 mm, while for the rest of the year that depth is 1.6 mm.
The website of the Icelandic Transport Authority lists various information regarding tire safety, such as, “It is essential for drivers to always use tires appropriate for the condition they drive in each time. According to traffic law, drivers are not required to use winter tires during winter driving conditions, although it’s highly recommended.”
Two buses went off the road on Hellisheiði mountain, South Iceland, yesterday, mbl.is reports. No one was injured in either accident. One of those buses had summer tires; the other had winter tires, but was reportedly blown off the road by a strong gust of wind.