Every year, the National Transportation Safety Board releases a list of items that prioritize the changes that should be made to improve conditions on the roads in Georgia and across the country. This year, that list has some new additions as well as some repeats from previous editions.
Atop the list of concerns is driver fatigue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the phenomenon was responsible for 44,000 injuries and 800 traffic fatalities in 2013. These statistics, according to the NHTSA, may not reflect the actual numbers because drowsy driving is often underreported. It is known that drivers who are tired are less likely to be able to think and react quickly in an emergency situation. Exhaustion is especially problematic in the trucking world, where drivers have been known to work long hours without sufficient sleep.
The NTSB list addresses several other road safety priorities, including the following:
- Strengthening the protection for passengers in public vehicles
- Improving the oversight that governs rail transit safety
- Reducing distracted driving
- Eliminating impaired driving in the transportation industry
- Requiring commercial drivers to meet certain standards for medical fitness
- Addressing ways to prevent loss of control issues in aviation
These comprehensive suggestions could be used to shape policies that govern the commercial transportation industry. However, the NTSB does not have the authority to make those laws. Instead, these recommendations will be passed along to the U.S. Congress as well as federal agencies that can take meaningful action. Hopefully, the people in those positions of power will listen.