Lafayette, LA- In a Tuesday announcement the National Traffic Safety Board introduced a number of things the agency would like to tackle in 2015 to make the transportation in the U.S. safer. Among initiatives to combat impaired driving, make mass transit safer and improve rail tanker-car safety, the federal agency has targeted key areas of trucking they believe will reduce accidents and save lives.
“Commercial trucking is integral to our economy, but crashes, injuries, and deaths involving commercial trucks have been increasing over the past several years. In 2012 alone, nearly 4,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 people were injured in truck,” said the NTSB.
The NTSB believes that safety improvements “will not only save lives, but improve the public’s confidence in this vital, and visible, industry.”
One of the areas of commercial trucking industry the NTSB says needs improvement is distracted driving. The agency stated that they have conducted a number of investigations of accidents involving personal electronic devises. They suggest a ban on all phone use, hands-free included for commercial truck drivers. Use of hand-held devices has long been illegal for commercial drivers, but the NTSB notes that studies have shown that using hands-free devices can be just as distracting as hand-held devices.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents so is shouldn’t be a surprise it made the NTSB’s Most Wanted List for 2015. If you have been in a Louisiana accident, involving a distracted truck driver, one of our truck accident attorneys in Lafayette can offer you expert advice and superior representation with the aim of getting you an optimal injury settlement.
The NTSB also suggest the trucking industry adopt broader usage of electronic log books to improve compliance with “science-based” hours-of-service rules, and collision avoidance technologies.
Having an electronic log book would make it more difficult for drivers to misrepresent their driving hours and thereby save lives, the NTSB says. The FMCSA administration is currently in the rulemaking process in regards to electronic log devices, but once the process is over all commercial trucking companies in the U.S. will begin using these devices to reduce fatigued driving accidents.
The agency also suggests mandating collision avoidance technologies such as crash warning systems, tire inflation monitors, lane departure warnings and rollover stabilization systems. They suggest vehicle inspections be included in compliance reviews.
Additionally, the NTSB urge federal regulators to develop improved standards for underride guards which keep passenger vehicles from going under a large commercial truck.
The National Traffic Safety Board can’t actually make laws, but the can offer suggestions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to improve safety within the various transportation sectors including commercial trucking. NTSB suggestions are often instituted by federal agencies overseeing transportation.
Any accident can be cataclysmic for the victims, but accidents involving large commercial trucks can be far more destructive to life and property. Accident victims who enlist a Lafayette truck accident attorney can be certain the at-fault party takes responsibility for their medical bills and their personal anguish.