ATA reports progress made in implementing NTSB “most wanted list”

 In Motor Vehicle Accident
Commercial truck accidents are continuing to be problematic. Technological advances in mobile devices have increased distracted driving behaviors like texting behind the wheel. Additionally, the poor economic climate has caused some companies or drivers to override hours of service mandates or critical regulations all in name of profits.

The end of last year, the National Transportation Safety Board-the U.S. federal agency known as the NTSB in charge of investigating transportation accidents-released a “most wanted list” consisting of 20 critical areas where transportation safety improvements were needed. On this list included the need to implement important safety technologies like stability control or departure and collision warning systems.

The American Trucking Association-the largest U.S. association that represents the trucking trade-was on board with the NTSB’s proposals and expressed understanding of the need to improve truck safety. ATA CEO Bill Graves stated that, “The NTSB Most Wanted List identifies a number of areas where the Board and ATA have a shared interest in improving highway safety.”

Areas where progress is being made

As a result of the initiative, the ATA has made progress. The association recently released a report that details developments in certain areas listed on the NHTSA’s most wanted list.

In the report, the ATA stressed that they were making headway in two important areas: the establishment of a nationwide registry that provides a list of certified medical examiners and a procedure that examines possible truck driver candidates.

Areas where improvement still needed

However, there is still plenty of work to be done in other areas on the list. The areas where improvement is needed include the enactment of:

  • Seat belt laws that are primary rather than secondary
  • Aggressive driving programs
  • Uniform crashworthiness principles for commercial vehicles
  • A central collection of driver drug and alcohol test results

Implementing a standardized federal speed limit of 65 mph for all commercial drivers is one of the most vital areas that is being pushed. Currently, states all have varying speed limits for commercial vehicles. The ATA indicates that there are obstacles hindering this proposal from moving forward.

Along with so many other critical areas of truck safety associated with actual carriers or drivers, the NTSB has also stressed the need to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and infrastructure to help improve trucking safety. And, the AMA agrees.

“Even though we just saw a highway bill signed into law, it was woefully underfunded and will do little to improve our infrastructure. Well-built and maintained roads are key to improving safety,” Graves reported.

There is much to be done to combat trucking accidents in the U.S. However, these initiatives are a step in the right direction. The more parties on board to help combat this growing problem, the better it is for both commercial and passenger vehicles traveling on America’s roadways.

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