Humble truckers may not often mention it, but the work they do can be very dangerous. It’s an unfortunate – but well-known – fact that thousands of people die every year in transportation accidents. In trucking, drivers are constantly faced with heavy traffic, distractions, stress, fatigue, and sleeping problems. As we look to solve issues in transportation, a changing world and innovations in technology can introduce new threats, and new solutions.
To keep up with the constantly shifting safety demands of the transportation industry, The National Transportation Safety Board routinely releases a Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, which advocates for changes in aviation, highway, maritime, and railroad transportation which can prevent accidents, minimize injuries, and save lives.
The newly released 2019-2020 Most Wanted List, recently summarized by Overdrive, advocates for a number of improvements and changes within the trucking industry. Depending on the response from the industry and lawmakers, the Board’s recommendations may very well become law in the next few years. Here are the relevant trucking improvements suggested by NTSB:
- Eliminate distracted driving by adding driver distraction codes to accident investigation forms, banning the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (with the exception of navigation technology), and developing features that disable phones when the vehicle is in motion.
- End alcohol and drug impairment by expanding drug and alcohol testing, giving the NTSB access to positive tests, and implementing Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety (DADSS).
- Reduce speeding-related crashes by developing speed-limiting technology for heavy commercial devices, requiring all new models to be equipped with speed-limiters, and assessing the effectiveness of point-to-point speed enforcement camera systems.
- Implement collision-avoidance systems in all new vehicles by developing and installing forward collision avoidance systems and automated emergency braking.
- Reduce fatigue-related crashes by identifying drivers with a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and requiring those drivers to prove via medical certification they have been properly diagnosed and treated.
- Require medical fitness by screening all drivers and other personnel in safety-sensitive positions for OSA and requiring treatment.
As lawmakers and regulators consider these improvements, it is also important that they hear feedback from their constituents and those who may be affected by the changes. If you belong to the trucking industry and like or dislike these recommendations, now is the time to reach out to your Congressional Representatives and Senators. Here is where you can find the contact information for all your local officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
And we want to know what you think. How do you feel about the new NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.