The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) convened a public forum from May 10-11 in Washington, DC to review progress made over the last decade in improving truck and bus safety and to discuss steps that must be taken to improve safety in the future.
Day 1 of the forum focused on improving the safety culture among commercial carriers in the industry, including use of electronic onboard recorders, monitoring truck drivers’ hours of service, and training and licensing requirements for commercial drivers. Day 2 focused on driver safety, driver crash risk factors and approaches for increasing driver safety, and the use of enhanced vehicle safety technology.
Over the years the NTSB has focused a great deal of attention on the commercial trucking and bus industry. This makes sense considering that accidents involving commercial trucks, semi tractor-trailers and buses are much more likely to result in severe injuries or death than other auto accidents. The reasons for this not only include the massive size and weight of the vehicles involved, but also dangers such as driver fatigue, equipment failure, and improper load securement. Because trucking and bus accidents carry such a great risk of causing serious injury or death, trucking and bus companies must use the highest degree of care to protect other people on the roadways. The NTSB’s continuing efforts to encourage these industries to focus on safety is both necessary and appreciated.