Every year, the National Transportation Safety Board releases a top ten list of safety initiatives in plans to target in the coming year. The NTSB does not have the power to compel changes in the transportation industry, but it has the ability to agitate for changes that could help protect the traveling public. The top ten list for 2017 has been released and contains some interesting items aimed at reducing fatal car accidents.
Data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that front crash prevention technology is highly successful. The findings provide further support for advocates of in-vehicle collision avoidance technologies. The National Transportation Safety Board included such devices in its Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements for 2016.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released preliminary data on 2015 traffic fatalities and news was not good. Over the first nine months of 2015, the NHTSA estimates that 26,000 were killed in fatal car and truck accidents. During the first nine months of 2014, fewer than 24,000 people were killed. The increase of 9.3 percent puts 2015 on track to be the deadliest year on American roads since 2008.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its annual Most Wanted List of safety improvements for 2016. The list contains ten areas where the NTSB plans to focus its advocacy efforts in the new year. Each area of concern contains a number of recommendations for how transportation could be made safer. The 2016 list is heavy on recommendations involving safety technology.
In the late 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration unveiled the 5-Star Safety Ratings Program. Over time, the rating has gone from a novel invention to a vital factor in the way many consumers choose a new vehicle. The NHTSA has the power to push automakers to adopt new safety technology by making the technology necessary to achieve a top rating. After a difficult year in 2015, the NHTSA is considering a number of changes to the rating system, as well as other changes designed to help the agency protect and promote highway safety.
Car accidents are a serious problem for teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents were the top cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old in the U.S. in 2013. Teen drivers lack the experience to make the fast and accurate decisions needed to avoid danger. Parents have a large role to play in helping their teen drivers stay safe. The NHTSA is currently celebrating National Teen Driver Safety Week. In recognition of this, the NHTSA is asking parents of teen drivers to join their campaign, '5 to Drive.'
There are several reasons why drunk driving is easier to police than drugged driving. The impact of alcohol on a person's ability to drive is comparatively predictable. It is easier to test for the presence of alcohol than other drugs. The signs of impairment are easier for law enforcement officers to identify. While drunk driving involves one substance, alcohol, drugged driving must cover a range of substances, both legal and illegal, each of which carries its own concerns. The obstacles to policing drugged driving are real, but the need to overcome them may be increasing according to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The first full week in October is Drive Safety Work Week. The campaign promotes safe driving in a number of ways. It is not restricted to people who drive as part of their work. The name is related to the group that produces the campaign each year, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). The idea is to help employers push the message of safe driving to their employees. While car and truck accidents have the most devastating impact on the victims and their families, the cost of accidents to employers and society at large is tremendous. For employers who wish to help their workers drive safely, NETS offers materials to accomplish that mission.
For some people, safety is the top concern when choosing a car. For most, safety is one concern among many. Cost, convenience, even style might all rank ahead of the safety features of a vehicle, depending on your preferences. Wherever safety falls on your list of priorities, you should, at least, understand the ways your car can help make your driving experience safer. Toward that end, the National Safety Council recently launched a new web site designed to help drivers understand important features of their vehicles. At mycardoeswhat.org, drivers can learn about passive and active safety technology present in their vehicles.
What constitutes distracted driving? Most states ban reckless driving and have the power to give speeding tickets for traveling at a rate of speed too fast for the conditions. Texting while driving is now banned in 44 states. But what other behaviors represent a dangerous level of distraction? Are police citing drivers who are distracted by something other than a text message? Some law enforcement agencies have taken to penalizing drivers for a wider range of distracted driving than is mentioned in texting bans.