The National Transportation Safety Board puts out a list each year of safety improvements that it would like to see to reduce transportation accidents. The NTSB is an independent agency within the federal government that was created to investigate aviation accidents but is now responsible for investigating transportation accidents of all kinds.
The NTSB’s annual list, known as the “Most Wanted List,” gives consumers, government officials and manufacturers an idea of safety changes possibly coming in the future. This year’s list, which was recently released, addresses:
Substance Impaired Driving
Despite campaigns to educate people about the dangers of impaired driving, it continues to be a leading cause of injuries on the road. The NTSB tells us that for the last 15 years, one-third of all highway fatalities have been alcohol-related. The NTSB advocates a comprehensive solution aimed at changing behavior, not just punishing impaired drivers. For example, the NTSB suggests that states should look at alternatives to jail time when appropriate. Home detention with extensive substance abuse treatment, for example, may be more effective in the long run than incarceration. Technology also offers assistance in the form of devices such as the ignition interlock device.
More than 30,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle accidents and thousands more are injured. According to the NTSB two major reasons for this are changing conditions and a sudden inability to control the vehicle. Therefore, the NTSB wants to see technology focus on devices that can help drivers increase their reaction time. On-board devices such as a lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and electronic stability control can all help a driver recognize and react faster to an impending collision. Although most of these are currently available as options on vehicles, the NTSB would like to see them required in all new vehicles.
Distracted driving has become an even bigger problem over the last decade as the use of cellphones and other handheld electronic devices grows. The NTSB’s favors a ban on nonessential use of cellphones and other handheld devices while driving. It would also like to see manufacturers develop a way to disable the devices when they are within reach of a driver. Finally, the NTSB wants a uniform system among all local, state and federal agencies to report accidents in which the nonessential use of an electronic device was a contributing factor.
Preserving Infrastructure Integrity
According to the NTSB, there are over six million miles of roadways, pipeline, tracks and waterways. Not only does America’s economy depend on our infrastructure but many avoidable accidents are caused by negligently maintained roadways. The NTSB’s most wanted list calls for investing in, and properly maintaining, the nation’s infrastructure.
Talk to a Washington State Injury Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in Washington State car accident, or have lost a loved one as a result of one, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss. The Washington State car accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law can help you get through the legal process and make sure that the party responsible for your injuries or loss is held accountable. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.