National Transportation Safety Board Calls for Safety ImprovementsFebruary 20, 2019
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has come up with a comprehensive list of safety improvements they would like addressed as soon as possible. The list was developed based on recent accident data that has been thoroughly reviewed by the NTSB. The wish list for immediate safety improvements will impact roadways, railways, and air travel. Tougher safety regulations aim to prevent serious accidents and improve safety for all modes of travel.
NTSB’s Wish List of Safety Improvements
The following list identifies the key safety improvements that the NTSB is urging lawmakers, industries, and travelers to address and implement as soon as possible:
- Eliminate Distractions: Regardless of the modes of transportation, individuals must remain focused on operating the vehicle and avoid distractions, such as talking on the phone, texting, and any other distractions that take attention away from safely operating the vehicle. Education, legislation, and enforcements are critical to successfully eliminating dangerous distractions.
- Reduce Drowsy Driving Accidents: Drowsy driving is a particularly serious problem in the transportation industry. While fatigue can impact a person’s ability to safely operate and control a vehicle, too many people continue to operate a vehicle on little sleep. Research, education, training, and hours-of-service enforcement are necessary to address this issue.
- Improve Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations: These operators are not required to meet the same safety requirements as commercial airlines, which increases their risk for devastating accidents. Appropriate training, as well as increased safety requirements, are necessary.
- Positive Train Control (PTC): This can prevent a crash by stopping the train before impact. PTC must be implemented before the deadline of December 31, 2020 to ensure the safety of passengers and those who live and work in the vicinity.
- End Drug and Alcohol Impairments: Stricter blood alcohol content limits, mandatory ignition interlock devices, and other effective countermeasures should be implemented. National drug testing should be standard for passenger vehicles, and stricter screening and testing programs for commercial vehicle operators should be enforced.
- More Widespread Use of Collision Avoidance Systems: These should come standard on all vehicles. Consumers should only purchase vehicles that are equipped with this technology.
- Implement Speeding Prevention Strategies: Speeding is one of the top causes of accidents in the United States. Automated enforcement technology, design improvements, and educational campaigns should be implemented.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening: Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea is responsible for too many preventable accidents. Effective screening and treatment can prevent fatal crashes.
- Use of Seatbelts and Restraints: Effective restraints saved 14,668 lives in 2016 alone. All states should enact mandatory seatbelt laws. Aviation aircrafts should have improved occupant protections as well.
- Safer Shipment of Hazardous Materials: Pipeline ruptures can put the general public at risk for explosions and exposure to a range of hazardous materials. All current safety standards must be met.
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