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September 2015 Archives

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.

A Call for Tighter Regulation

A scandal uncovered by one agency has led another to consider cracking down on the auto industry. The Environmental Protection Agency recently discovered that Volkswagen carefully engineered software to skirt U.S. emissions standards. VW diesel vehicles were programmed to run differently when being tested than during normal operation. After an EPA investigation, Volkswagen could be fined billions of dollars for its actions. The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that the actions of VW's executives demonstrate the need for tighter regulation in the realm of safety.

The Push for Automatic Brakes

Automatic emergency braking systems are a technological solution to a common type of car accident, the rear-end collision. Distracted, fatigued, impaired or infirm drivers may apply brakes too late or too softly to avoid an accident. AEB systems provide automatic braking or supplemental braking to reduce the severity of a crash or avoid it altogether. These systems are not standard features on new vehicles at this time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently took steps to encourage the technology, without going through the process of making it a federal requirement.

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.

Bike Injuries on the Rise

A recent study confirmed that there was a sharp increase in the number of adult bicycling injuries between 1998 and 2013. The study involved data gathered in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, combined with U.S. Census information. It revealed that the increase is driven, in part, by rising injuries in bicyclists older than 45. According to one study author, ridership among people in that age group is at an all time high.

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