The National Transportation Safety Board has released its annual "Most Wanted List" that features a number of upgrades it would like to see incorporated into commercial trucks. This year's wish list includes four recommendations: Eliminating Substance-Impaired Driving; Preserving the Integrity of Transportation Infrastructure; Elimination Distraction in Transportation; and Mandating Motor Vehicle Collision Avoidance Technology.
The NTSB released this list as part of its ongoing effort to reduce truck accident rates in Ohio and nationally. Its rationale in publishing the 2013 list now is to give policymakers across the country ample time to develop their priorities entering the new year. The organization would like to see its list trigger changes at state and federal levels.
This year's list made distracted driving a significant priority, since the number of truck crashes caused by distractions remains very high. Common distractions include portable electronic devices, such as smart phones and other hand-held devices, and even hands-free devices like DVD players.
Substance impairment also remains a hot issue for the organization, but new technology being incorporated into vehicles is helping detect impaired driving and prevent impaired drivers from being on the roadways.
Similarly, improved collision-avoidance technology is helping drivers keep their vehicles under control and react in a timely manner to roadway hazards.
The recommendations offered by the NTSB were praised by the American Trucking Association, which stands with the NTSB in its resolve to address distracted driving and prevent other impairments from increasing accident risks.
Source: Trailer/Body Builder, "NTSB tackles truck safety with recommendations," Nov. 20, 2012