The Governors Highway Safety Association has compiled a report based on traffic accident figures for the first six months of 2012. According to the report, 2012 will mark the second consecutive year in which highway fatalities have increased for 16- and 17-year-old drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has projected that 2012 will show an 8 percent increase in traffic deaths for 2012. Teen drivers are responsible for some of that increase as teen driver deaths are estimated to rise 19 percent from 2011 to 2012.
From 2005 to 2011, motor vehicle accident fatalities steadily dropped. In 2012, that trend came to a halt as car accident deaths rose by roughly 5 percent from 2011. The National Safety Council released a report on Tuesday indicating that 2012 saw an estimated 36,200 deaths caused by vehicle crashes. The information is still being analyzed, but speculation has already begun as to why the number increased for the first time since 2004 to 2005.
According to National Safety Council estimates, there is a cell phone related car accident every 24 seconds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded that 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents are the result of distraction behind the wheel. Drivers who are not paying attention to the task of safe driving are a hazard. Safety experts are working to address the dangers of distracted driving. Part of the plan is to make people understand the danger they put themselves in, and the danger they pose to others, when they take their attention off the wheel.
MOM Brands Co., the makers of Malt-O-Meal cereal products was forced to recall 22,000 cases of cereal across five states. The product, Malt-O-Meal Marshmallow Mateys, used a Vitamin C supplement that MOM had purchased from a supplier in Libertyville, Illinois. The supplement was reportedly made in a plant China and was later discovered to contain ethylene glycol (antifreeze) and other toxic substances. MOM filed a lawsuit against the Illinois company to recoup the money lost in the recall. The two companies settled this week and the case was dismissed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration remains committed to the battle against distracted driving, according to top official David Strickland. The NHTSA Chief suggested that one day the organization would have a national program to deal with distracted driving similar to the programs implemented to address drunk driving and the importance of seat belt use. Some had questioned if the commitment to distracted driving as a safety issue would remain in place after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced his impending retirement. Secretary LaHood made distracted driving something of a personal crusade during his time in the role.
The National Transportation Safety Board has made 19 total recommendations across several Transportation Department agencies. Some of the suggested changes stem from the NTSB investigation of a deadly 2011 crash in which a semi-truck hit an Amtrak train. That wreck claimed the lives of 6 people and left many more injured.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approved the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to carry passengers in accordance with its normal standards and procedures. Those standards are now being called into question by the National Transportation Safety Board due to the problems that have been encountered since the 787 began flying. Several incidents, including an emergency landing and a battery fire last month, forced the FAA to ground the 787 and launch a full investigation into the aircraft.