The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The objective is to highlight different safety initiatives, some of which are also the focus of the National Safety Council (NSC).
Some of the list involves evergreen issues, while others point to trends in technology and safety.
- Eliminate distractions while behind the wheel
- Stamp out driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reduce fatigue-related crashes
- Implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce speeding-related crashes
- Implement more Collision Avoidance Systems in all new highway vehicles
- Strengthen vehicle occupant protection
New advances to help achieve these objectives
Fatigue is a growing issue as folks are trying to get by on less sleep, do not sleep restfully or may use sleep aids that pose a risk to driver safety. According to experts, some new tools include technology that measures eye blinks while driving, better health screenings, shift scheduling software that is based on the circadian rhythms and even remote monitoring of drivers.
The year 2018 also saw the trucking industry implement the new ELD Mandate, which requires truckers to log hours electronically rather than by hand – this will better enforce the Hours of Service Law (HSL). For example, HSL stipulates that drivers can only drive 11 straight hours in a 14-hour shift. After that stretch of driving, the driver is required to rest for 10 consecutive hours.
This technology can also apply to dangerous jobs where workers are not on the road, such as working on an assembly line or around heavy machinery.
The future is here
Some of this technology would seem to be expensive or far-fetched, but employers are finding that investing in emerging technologies will pay for itself in reducing the number of injuries to drivers and workers as well as victims who are injured due to the negligence. Depending on the circumstances of the injuries, it may be smart to consult with a personal injury attorney with experience with truck accidents or workplace injuries.