Transportation is a crucial part of the American economy, and it's something a lot of us interact with as part of our daily lives. Because transportation is such an integral asset to communities across the country, the federal government goes to great lengths to regulate different areas of the industry - including transportation on land, sea, and air. One of the federal agencies responsible for much of this oversight is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Each year, the NTSB releases is annual Most Wanted List, which details the top 10 transportation safety concerns according to the agency. Last month, the NTSB released its 2015 Most Wanted List, featuring concerns that touched on helicopter and aviation safety, positive train control, medical fitness for transportation operators, and rail tank car safety.
In addition to these transportation safety concerns, the NTSB also noted some of the more pressing issues a lot of Americans see frequently. These include:
- Substance Impairment - Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol injures and kills tens of thousands of people every year, both on roadways and in other sectors of transportation. According to the NTSB, substance impairment is also a significant factor in accidents caused by transportation operator error, and is on the rise. To fight this issue, the NTSB has suggested better oversight and testing protocol for transportation operators, tougher impaired driving laws, and increased high-visibility enforcement.
- Distractions - Driver distraction has been referred to as a national epidemic by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as it continually injures and kills thousands of people each year. With advancements in portable electronic devices, distraction is also a serious issue among other areas of transportation. The NTSB advises better education, tougher and more comprehensive distraction laws, and the need for communities to actively make a cultural shift away from using devices while operating motor vehicles.
- Truck Accidents - According to the NTSB, accidents involving commercial trucks have been steadily increasing in recent years, as well as injuries and deaths. Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks are essential to the economy, but their size and weight make them a danger to everyone on the road. To improve safety in the commercial trucking industry, the NTSB calls for state and federal regulating agencies to improve oversight of trucking companies, drivers, and vehicles.
At Shook & Stone, we've seen how impairment and distraction can cause tremendous losses, and we've seen the devastating effects of preventable trucking accidents. If you have questions about your legal rights after a transportation accident, contact an accident attorney from our firm for a free case review.