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.
Tens of thousands of Americans die in car and truck accidents every year. These accidents take an unbelievable toll on individuals, families and the nation as a whole. The financial impact of all these traffic accidents is measured in the billions, not millions. The head of the National Transportation Safety Board believes the self-driving cars could play a significant role in preventing this catastrophic loss of life.
The last two years have seen motor vehicles recalled in record numbers. In 2015 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled more than 50 million vehicles. A recent review of auto recalls conducted by J.D. Power shows that many defective cars and trucks have not received the repairs covered under the recall. Of the vehicles recalled from 2013 to 2015, 45 million have not been repaired. Those vehicles are exposing their owners and others to unnecessary risk of injury or death.
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 crashes take an unbelievable toll on humanity. In the U.S., a good safety year still sees more than 30,000 people killed in motor vehicle accidents. Worldwide, the number is closer to one million. One million people die in traffic accidents each year and the vast majority of those accidents are caused by human error. While it is far from clear that any of the driverless cars being tested by Google and other companies could do better, it is clear that humans leave something to be desired when it comes to safe driving. A new proposal from the California Department of Motor Vehicles could seriously delay the effort to see if driverless cars could improve the situation.
The youngest drivers are responsible for the most car crashes per mile driven. Accident rates drop steadily as drivers age, reaching a low point for drivers in their 60s. In fact, drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 suffer roughly four times as many crashes as drivers between 60 and 69. At age 70, the numbers take a sharp turn for the worse. Given the age demographics of the United States, the rise in accidents caused by drivers over a certain age has serious implications for road safety.
In the United States, the rate of fatalities caused by traffic accidents has steadily decreased in recent years. The Fatal Analysis Reporting System is the tool used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to better understand deadly crashes. According to FARS data, 2014 was perhaps the safest year on record for American drivers. The fatality rate of 1.07 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was the lowest ever recorded. Unfortunately, the preliminary numbers for 2015 are not as promising.