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August 2012 Archives

Construction Work And America's Deadliest Jobs

The safety education company eTrain Today used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics to compile a list of the most deadly jobs in the nation. The findings were significant for workers in several industries, including the construction industry. The data showed four major causes of construction worker deaths, as well as commonly violated OSHA standards that led to injury or death. According to the 2010 data, the most dangerous jobs, whether in or out of the construction industry, were those that involved extensive driving.

New Tools For Understanding Truck Driver Safety

After a truck accident, trucking companies may choose to take action against a truck driver who failed to perform his or her duties in a safe manner. New technology may allow fleet operators predict future driver behavior and take steps before a truck accident even occurs. Predictive analytics software can use information regarding a driver's past behavior, including information gathered from onboard computers, GPS tracking systems, citations and accident reports, and use it to determine the safety risks a particular driver might pose.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology Gets Safety Test

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication devices are two methods by which cars may be made safer in the future. The U.S. Transportation Department has begun a new test of so-called "smart car" technology. Some 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle crash avoidance technology and vehicle-to-roadway devices will be evaluated to determine the efficacy and reliability of these devices. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland, this form of technology has the potential to "significantly reduce" traffic deaths and injuries, and help accidents from occurring in the first place.

Truck Makers Want Rollover Accident Regulations Scaled Back

New regulations were proposed last May concerning the installation of anti-rollover systems in buses and heavy duty trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that rollover accidents cause roughly 700 traffic deaths per year. NHTSA researchers estimated that electronic stability control systems would prevent thousands of crashes and between 49 and 60 fatalities every year. The regulations called for the installation of these devices with two to four years. Truck makers are now pushing back and requesting that the requirements for meeting the new standard be scaled back.

Federal Officials Want Stronger Drunk Driving Laws

The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expressed his support for laws that require first-time offenders of DUI laws to have interlock devices installed in their vehicles. Federal data shows that a drunk driver who is involved in a fatal traffic accident is 400 percent more likely to have a prior DUI on his or her record than a sober driver. Federal officials have reported that they are considering ways to encourage states to pass tougher drunk driving laws.

FAA To Investigate Miscommunication Among Washington D.C. Controllers

Federal rules dictate how close together aircraft are allowed to fly. An incident involving three aircraft around Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. has prompted an FAA investigation, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Early reports indicated that the planes were on a head-to-head course, but Mr. LaHood and FAA administrator Michael Huerta indicated that while "there was a loss of separation" among the aircraft, they were never on a collision course.

Bus Accidents Underscore Need For Safety Improvements

Last week, a Megabus crashed into a bridge support, injuring at least 33 and killing one. Yesterday afternoon, a second Megabus accident claimed the life of a 76-year-old West Loop resident. These accidents shine a spotlight on recent efforts to improve bus safety for occupants and for everyone who shares the road with buses.

In-Car Technology A Concern For Many Drivers

Cell phones, iPods, and other portable electronic devices have been the source of significant scrutiny among traffic safety experts. Recently, the efforts of automakers to make their vehicles more appealing to technophiles have also drawn attention. As car accidents involving distracted driving continue to plague U.S. roadways, many consumers now believe that in-car technologies have become too distracting and dangerous. The survey by Harris Interactive also points to a generational gap regarding the importance of connectivity in a motor vehicle.

Fatal Southern Illinois Bus Crash

A double-decker bus was headed from Chicago to St. Louis yesterday when it struck a bridge support. The bus crash killed one woman and injured at least 33 others. According to the Illinois State Police, a tire blew out on the bus shortly before it went off the road and struck the bridge support on Interstate 55. While the full investigation will not be completed for some time, there have been no reports of driver error as of yet.

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