New Road Safety Measures Urged to Combat Crash Epidemic
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its “Most Wanted” list for 2017-2018: a list of urgent safety measures that the agency believes could dramatically reduce the number of injuries and deaths arising from motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
The NTSB conducts independent investigations of vehicle-related accidents. While the organization has no enforcement or regulatory influence, they are highly regarded as a reliable resource for reviewing transportation safety.
Reducing fatigue-related accidents
Fatigue is one of the most common causes of accidents. Much like alcohol or drugs, fatigue is an impairment. Many of the most tragic road accidents have been directly linked to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. This is especially true among crashes involving a professional – a bus driver or trucker – who has been on the road too long.
Knowing how preventable these accidents are, the NTSB looks to educate all drivers about getting sufficient rest before hitting the road.
Collision avoidance technologies
The NTSB is a strong advocate of avoidance technology. Accidents often happen due to a potentially avoidable mistake. Autonomous emergency braking, collision warning and minimizing unintentional lane drifting will all lead to fewer accidents, injuries and fatalities.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over three million seat belt infractions were recorded over a five year period. These numbers only apply to citations issued during crackdowns, meaning the true number is higher.
Despite increased awareness about seatbelt safety, there are still too many accidents where occupants are severely injured or worse because they failed to wear a seat belt. The NTSB also argues for improved occupant protection measures, as many occupants wearing seat belts have been injured or worse after being unable to get out of a crashed vehicle. Occupant protection systems need better engineering to enhance ease of evacuation or to preserve survival in the car.
Further education about driving distractions
Driver distraction is a growing concern. It has become the number one reason for fatalities in young drivers. States are initiating laws to prevent use of cell phones and other distractions, but these laws will be difficult to enforce. The process has to include training that reinforces the idea that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes and minds on the road.
Driving under the influence
Despite all the available information, irresponsible drivers still climb into a four thousand pound (or more) vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol, thinking their senses are keen. Tens of thousands of people are killed by these drivers every year. The NTSB believes enforcement of laws, jail sentences, programs and education are the only way to combat what they are calling an epidemic.
There will still be car accidents
Unfortunately, no amount of diligence will eliminate road accidents altogether. The Sanders Firm is prepared to represent victims of negligence in vehicle accidents, exploring accountability and compensation on their behalf. If you or someone you know needs consultation in this regard, give our car accident injury attorneys a call and see how much your case is worth.
Car safety resources
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Safety Ratings, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings
- United Services Automobile Association: 8 Tech Features That Improve Car Safety, https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/advice-auto-safetyfeatures?akredirect=true
- Business Insider: This map shows what causes the most fatal car crashes in each US state, http://www.businessinsider.com/the-cause-of-the-most-fatal-car-crashes-2015-5