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NTSB Offers Improvements to Decrease Injuries in Accidents

The Associated Press reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its annual 10 most-wanted safety improvements this Wednesday. According to the NTSB website, the purpose of the list is to increase awareness and support for the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation related accidents to save lives. This years’ list includes many typical subjects such as bus and fire safety, but also some not as common subjects like pipeline safety and infrastructure.

The list of 10 includes; airport surface operations, bus safety, eliminate distraction, fire safety, general aviation safety, infrastructure, pipeline safety, positive train control, substance-impaired driving, and collision avoidance.

The NTSB lists airport runways as one of its most wanted safety improvements because some of the deadliest airplane accidents occur on the runway. In fact, the NTSB states that there are approximately 975 runway incursions every year. The NTSB encourages all involved with runway operations (i.e. pilots, ground crews, air traffic controllers, etc.) to work together to create a safer environment for airline passengers.

According to the NTSB, bus safety, while one of the safest modes of transportation, can still be improved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported 13,417 bus crashes in 2009, resulting in more than 250 fatalities and 20,000 injuries. The NTSB recommends that bus drivers should be competent and should undergo more rigorous training than is currently implemented.

As touched upon in a previous post, driver distraction is a major issue for travelers and is the cause of numerous accidents and fatalities. The NTSB recommends that states ban the nonessential use of portable electronic devices in all vehicles. The NTSB believes that current fire safety in our transportation system is inadequate and recommends installation of fire detection devices on many modes of transportation.

The NTSB next lists general aviation safety on its 10 most wanted list. It acknowledges that the commercial aviation industry as a whole has gone two years without a fatal accident, but states that it still investigates about 1,500 accidents every year in general aviation. The NTSB recommends adequate education, training and screening for all pilots.

Perhaps one of the lesser-known risks involved with transportation is infrastructure. Infrastructure includes roadways, bridges, pipelines, railroads, and waterways. The NTSB warns that we must invest in our infrastructure so that we can all travel safely.
Another lesser-known risk involved with transportation is the safety of our pipelines. NTSB states that two and a half million miles of pipeline crisscross the nation, providing resources like oil and gasoline to American consumers. NTSB recommends that the pipeline industry oversight must be improved to avoid the release of these hazardous materials into our soil.

Next, the NTSB advocates for positive train control. Positive train control refers to the technology capable of aiding the human operation of trains. This technology is important because human error accounts for the majority of train related accidents.
A very common issue is substance-impaired driving which was involved in nearly one-third of fatal driving injuries sustained in 2009. The NTSB recommends both general and specific deterrence methods including license revocation as well as fines and jail terms for repeat offenders.

Finally, the NTSB recommends mandating motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies. Such technologies work with the driver to help improve reaction time; these include warnings for late departure and collisions as well as automatic braking and adaptive cruise control to name a few. These technologies will only serve to make our roadways safer for all involved.

Our law firm understands that many of these transportation related issues are the result of human error and negligence. When mistakes occur and people are seriously injured or killed, they or their families have a right to take action to hold all negligent parties responsible. Our Chicago accident lawyers have significant experience in handling all types of cases involving transportation related injuries and accidents, including truck, aviation, motor vehicle, and bus matters. No matter your transportation injury, our attorneys can consult with you free of charge to discuss your legal rights.