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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Archives

Distracted Driving Accidents and Cultural Change

Among the ten items listed on the National Transportation Safety Board's Most Wanted List for 2016 is a call to disconnect from deadly distractions. Distracted driving has been identified as a large and growing problem among highway safety experts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,179 died in fatal accidents in 2014 due to distracted drivers. State Farm reports that nearly 30 percent of survey respondents acknowledged using the Internet while driving in 2015. That figure is up from 13 percent in 2009.

NTSB Targets Unfit Drivers in Truck Accidents

Among the ten entries in the 2016 Most Wanted List of safety improvements put forth by the National Transportation Safety Board are four that potentially address the ability of truck drivers to operate their vehicles safely. The following goals are all known issues in the commercial trucking industry:

NTSB Releases Safety Advocacy Most Wanted List for 2016

The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Christopher A. Hart, held a press conference yesterday to announce the organization's Most Wanted List of safety improvements for 2016. The NTSB has compiled yearly lists for more than 25 years. While the Board does not have the authority to compel legislators and transportation industry members to comply with these recommendations, it can draw attention to areas where safety improvements could prevent injuries and save lives. The release of the Most Wanted List provides an excellent opportunity to assess the state of transportation safety and see where we should focus our efforts going forward. 

New Most Wanted List for Safety Improvements

Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board releases a list of the safety improvements it wants to target. The "Most Wanted List" identifies areas that the NTSB believes should be a priority in improving transportation safety. The 2016 list is scheduled to be released on January 13, 2016, at a press conference in Washington D.C.

Agenda for NTSB Aviation Forum Released

When a pilot loses control of an aircraft in flight, the results can be catastrophic. Preventing loss of control in flight in general aviation is on the 2015 Most Wanted List of safety improvements for the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB recently released the agenda for its upcoming general aviation safety forum, to be held on October 14 in Washington D.C. The forum is titled, Humans and Hardware: Preventing General Aviation In Flight Loss of Control. The NTSB is specifically requesting that pilots and others in the aviation community submit questions related to in flight loss of control for consideration at the forum.

Focus on Rail Safety

Illinois Rail Safety Week runs from Sept. 13-19. During the week, safety agencies, railroads, law enforcement agencies and private corporations will coordinate to emphasize the importance of rail safety. Illinois is among the nation's leaders in rail injuries and fatalities. In 2013, Illinois saw the third most grade grossing deaths and the second most trespasser fatalities. In 2014, Illinois saw the second most vehicle collision fatalities and maintained its position in third for trespasser fatalities. The hope is that by emphasizing rail safety awareness and education, the number of deaths and injuries can be reduced.

FAA Study Shows Fatigue Problems Among Air Traffic Controllers

Fatigue can have a substantial impact on your ability to complete a task successfully. In the aviation industry, studies on fatigue have often focused on pilots. Fatigue is also a potential safety hazard for others in the aviation industry, including air traffic controllers. A study of controllers completed in 2011 shows that the typical work schedules used in the industry can lead to chronic fatigue.

Runway Incursions Continue to Be a Problem

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration consider runway incursions to be a top safety concern. Runway safety appeared on the NTSB Most Wanted List of advocacy priorities as recently as 2012. Runway incursions, situations involving planes taxiing, taking off or landing, represent a significant threat at airports throughout the country. A recent incident at Midway is expected to draw NTSB investigators to Chicago once again.

Collision Avoidance Systems Pushed by NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board has advocated for the use of collision avoidance technology for some time. In a recent report, the NTSB has once again advanced the idea that these systems should be standard equipment on all vehicles. The report suggests that thousands of deaths and injuries each year could be prevented with the implementation of crash avoidance technology.

Many Railroads Will Miss a Key Safety Deadline

In 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board included Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation on its Most Wanted List of safety initiatives. The NTSB had been calling for the devices for 45 years at that point. Congress had taken action on that suggestion already in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 by requiring all railroads to install the systems by December 31, 2015. With a handful of months remaining before the deadline, it appears unlikely that PTC devices will be in place on time for many railroads, including Metra.

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