The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced its “10 Most Wanted List” of desired safety improvements for 2017 and 2018. The list is designed to spotlight critical transportation safety issues and increase public awareness.
In the announcement, Christopher Hart, chairman of the organization, said that the “10 Most Wanted List is a roadmap built upon the lessons learned from the NTSB crash investigations, representation actions which, if taken, would reduce property damage, prevent injuries and save lives in all modes of transportation.”
Hart also noted that transportation as a whole “has become much safer” throughout the 50 year history of the NTSB, though there has been a change in the numbers as a result of highway fatalities.
Hart noted that, “From 2014 to 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), highway fatalities increased by 7.2%; the largest percentage increase since before the NTSB was founded,” he stressed in his prepared remarks. “Worse yet, early estimates show a 10.4% increase in motor vehicle deaths for the first half of 2016 versus the first half of 2015. Tragically, for the first time since 2008, more than 35,000 people died on our roads.” The list covers all modes of transportation including rail, aviation, highway and marine.
The Top List includes:
- Reduce fatigue related accidents
- Increase implementation of avoidance technologies
- Strengthen occupant protection
- Expand recorder use to enhance safety
- Prevent loss of control in flight in general aviation
- Require medical fitness
- Improve rail transit safety oversight
- Eliminate distractions
- End alcohol and other drug impairment
- Ensure the safe shipment of hazardous materials
The NTSB cited that human error is the leading cause of accidents and encourages increased use of collision warning and positive train control as safety net technologies available today to reduce highway and rail deaths. In addition to this, the NTSB has emphasized and encouraged further use of advanced technology including collision-avoidance technology.