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.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently conducted a forum on the problem of drowsy driving. The forum, entitled Asleep at the Wheel, was part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. It included discussions over the breadth of the problem and potential methods of addressing drowsy driving.
Have you ever seen a car wandering out of its lane and wondered just what the driver was doing? It's not hard to find drivers who are having trouble keeping their vehicles in one lane. The culprit may be alcohol, a cell phone call or text, the difficulty getting creamer into his coffee, or a thousand other issues. One of the possible causes is both common and difficult to detect-drowsiness. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is responsible for between 2.2 and 2.6 percent of fatal crashes. Drowsy driving is also the subject of a new crackdown announced by the NHTSA this week.
For many years, the research into fatigued driving focused largely on long-haul truck drivers. While the trucking industry is certainly one group impacted by drowsy driving, the problem extends far wider. Americans get nearly an hour less sleep per night than they did in 1965. The impact of that is felt in many areas of life, not least of all on the roads. More than 100,000 accidents per year are caused by drowsy drivers, including an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 fatal car and truck accidents.