How the New Agenda of the NTSB Could Reduce the Number of Truck Accidents

accidentThe number of truck accidents on the highway is on the rise. Various types of trucks are dispatched every day on the roads for carrying shipments, providing services, sending deliveries and for similar purposes. They often collide with passenger vehicles and other trucks, resulting in an increasing toll of injuries every year.

The transportation authorities are concerned over this. They have recently decided to push a plan to prevent truck accident. Before we discuss the plan at length, it’s essential to know of some of the important monitoring authorities, who look after the smooth functioning of transportation.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is one of them. The authority investigates car accidents of several types. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also an authority that mandates rules governing commercial vehicles. There’s one government agency called National Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NTSB’s fiefdom is not restricted to dealing only with cases related to truck and other vehicle accidents. It also deals with train and aircraft crashes. The agency conducts studies and based on the findings that come out of its studies issues recommendations regarding vehicle safety.

NTSB has an agenda this year that includes a number of safety recommendations. The agency expects the vehicle safety standard to escalate and is confident that if the recommendations are implemented, then standard would improve. The two other authorities FMCSA and NHTSA have been instructed to assist the NTSB by educating truck drivers, so they avoid the mistakes that lead to accidents.

Driver fatigue is often the culprit behind truck accidents. In its agenda, the NTSB has worked out some screening techniques to ensure the truck drivers are in a decent medical condition and are fully equipped to avoid collision. The screening technique rules out sleep apnea, which is a reason for feeling sleepy while driving. The agency also checks the truck safety equipment to make sure they are updated.

The crash warning technology and other updated technologies reduce the chances of passenger vehicles colliding with big trucks. The statistics indicating commercial vehicle accident is alarming; in 2012, over 100000 truck accident victims suffered injuries and nearly 4000 of them succumbed to death.

Such increasing numbers of truck accidents have compelled the government agencies to seriously deal with truck accident cases, which is why the NTSB has pushed the plan of introducing new safety regulations. The successful implementation of the regulations requires the trucking companies to comply with them and truck drivers to cooperate the ensuing initiatives.

Fear of punishment can also serve as a motivating factor. The NTSB wants to treat the ones, who don’t adhere to the safety standards harshly.

The question that inevitably occurs is how the enhanced safety agenda could lower the number of truck accidents. If the plans are correctly implemented, then an awareness would be spread among the truck drivers and also among the trucking companies that employ those drivers.

Training sessions could be arranged to ensure truck drivers getting familiar with the safety requirements. The training sessions are important and they make sure drivers are actually learning something. The important lessons to learn are

  • The difference between vans and straight trucks.
  • Dangers in driving in extreme weather situations.
  • Hours of service.
  • Driving in the night.
  • Cargo protection.
  • Speed management.

Learning the difference between vans and straight trucks is not difficult. What’s indeed difficult is to resist working in the night or working overtime. Truck drivers get paid if they work for extra hours; they need to be explained why it is risky and what types of risks it contains. Avoiding extreme weather situations is also important. Foggy weather prevents truck drivers from noticing a car that’s approaching to their fleets.

A comprehensive training session that is dedicated to minimizing the number of truck accidents on the road, highlights on most (if not all) aspects of truck driving so accidents collisions could be avoided.

The new agenda of the NTSB aims to facilitate such training sessions. So it’s important indeed and needs to be implemented.

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