NTSB’s Wish List To Make A Safer 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board is the federal agency charged with investigating major accidents in every mode of transportation in the U.S. Each year, the NTSB creates a “Most Wanted List” of safety regulations that it would like to see the Department of Transportation and other safety agencies implement in the coming year to reduce the number of transportation injuries and fatalities. The NTSB wish list for 2013 focuses on areas that are also of concern to the trucking industry, such as eliminating distracted driving, ending impaired driving and requiring motor vehicle collision avoidance technology.

Distracted driving

NTSB officials singled out distracted driving as one of the most important challenges to transportation safety, particularly distracted drivers of large commercial vehicles. The NTSB noted that operator distraction was a factor in a significant number of the accidents it investigated in 2012, and officials predict that the issue will only continue to worsen.

The NTSB suggested state legislators and federal regulatory agencies ban all non-essential use of portable electronic devices and that transit companies develop and enforce similar policies for employees. The NTSB also encouraged manufacturers to develop technology that disables such devices when people drive.

Impaired driving

The NTSB noted that impaired driving is a serious threat to safety. Officials suggested that safety agencies develop comprehensive substance abuse screening programs for those who work in transportation and offer treatment when appropriate. The NTSB also noted technology such ignition interlock devices can also prevent intoxicated drivers from operating vehicles, and suggested the development of similar devices to test for impairment by drugs.

Collision-avoidance technology

The NTSB advocated for the National Highway Transportation Safety Board developing performance standards for collision-avoidance technology and requiring manufacturers to include such technologies as standard equipment in all personal and commercial motor vehicles.

The NTSB pointed out that things such as lane departure warnings, electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking assist drivers when they encounter unexpected conditions while driving. Onboard monitoring, tire pressure monitoring and speed controlling systems also decrease the likelihood that commercial drivers will encounter adverse driving conditions. NTSB officials argued that the full benefits of these technologies will not come to fruition until all vehicles are equipped with them.

Talk to a lawyer

Because of the huge size of commercial vehicles, collisions between commercial trucks and other automobiles are often deadly for those in smaller vehicles. As such, it is important to make the transportation industry as safe as possible. If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, speak with an attorney with significant experience handling such cases who will know how to investigate the matter properly and help you recover for your injuries.