Feb. 20, 2019

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, highlighting 10 general areas where it wants to see improvements and including more than 260 safety recommendations associated with that list. The agency released the first Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements in 1990 and since that time has used the list to advocate and communicate about safety recommendations to prevent accidents.

Attorneys at Patterson Dahlberg have seen the catastrophic results when safety rules are not followed and accidents occur. Too often, one person’s severe injury is the result of another person’s negligence. We’re committed to ensuring our clients receive justice for the harm they suffer because of another person or organization’s actions and will fight to maximize their compensation, so they can focus on recovering from their car accident injuries.

2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

The NTSB’s list covers many aspects of transportation, including motor vehicle, aviation, and train safety. For example, on the list is improving the safety of part 135 aircraft flight operations and fully implementing Positive Train Control. Many of the items, however, cross transportation lines such as:

  • Eliminating distractions
  • Reducing fatigue-related accidents
  • Strengthening occupant protection
  • Increasing implementation of collision avoidance

In addition to the list of safety improvements, the NTSB included 267 safety recommendations associated with the list, and 46 safety recommendations it wants to see implemented within two years.

Eliminating Distractions

According to the NTSB, in 2016 there were more than 3,100 fatal crashes involving distraction on US roads, making up 9 percent of all fatal car crashes.

“Contributing to the problem is the widespread belief by many drivers that they can multitask and still operate a vehicle safely,” the NTSB wrote. “But multitasking is a myth; humans can only focus cognitive attention on one task at a time. That’s why executing any task other than driving is dangerous and risks a crash.”

Among the NTSB’s recommendations for dealing with distraction:

  • Banning the use of all personal electronic devices on US roadways
  • Enforcing distracted driving laws
  • Educating the public

Reducing Fatigue-Related Accidents

Fatigue-related accidents are often, but not always, related to lack of sleep. In some cases, however, they are linked to medical conditions such as sleep apnea, which can impair the quality of rest a person gets, even if he or she gets a full eight hours of sleep. Fatigue is linked to poor judgment, slowed reaction times, and confusion. Truck drivers could be at increased risk of fatigue-related accidents thanks to long hours behind the wheel, not enough rest, and sleeping while on the road.

To combat fatigue-related accidents, the NTSB recommends:

  • Establishing fatigue risk management programs
  • Ensuring drivers get the proper amount of sleep
  • Driving only within federally mandated hours-of-service limits

Strengthening Occupant Protection

Occupant protection includes anything inside a vehicle designed to protect the occupants from being ejected or being seriously injured in a crash. Specifically, the NTSB is concerned about the lack of seatbelt use across the United States.

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for all Americans,” the agency writes. “Although child car seat and seat belt use laws exist in every state, too many vehicle occupants are stilly dying or getting seriously injured in crashes because they simply didn’t buckle up. Seat belts reduce the risk of injury and death to vehicle drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.”

The NTSB calls on states to strengthen seat belt laws and enforcement laws, require school buses be equipped with proper restraints, and educate the public on the importance of wearing seatbelts.

Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems

Collision avoidance systems—including collision warning, automatic braking and blind spot detection—have become more common in new vehicles, especially in passenger vehicles. The systems can compensate for human errors or poor decisions, preventing crashes or at least reducing their severity. To increase implementation of the systems in both passenger and commercial vehicles, the NTSB recommends improving consumer awareness about the systems, making such systems standard in all vehicles rather than a part of expensive add-on packages, and ensuring consumers know and understand how the systems work and their limitations.

Minnesota Car Crash Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a Minnesota car crash, you need attorneys who are highly skilled at handling insurance claims. The extensively experienced lawyers at Patterson Dahlberg specialize in personal injury claims and are uniquely qualified to protect your interests against large insurance companies. We’ll guide you through this stressful time and fight to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to from your car accident claim.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.