NTSB Most Wanted List – Safety Improvements for 2016

The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) 2016 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements targets impairment of all types, including distractions, fatigue, and health conditions. There is also an emphasis on technology and its role in both causing and preventing accidents. The NTSB does not have the power to require these changes, but says that its recommendations are adopted more than 80% of the time.


Four out of the 10 recommendations on the NTSB’s 2016 Most Wanted List involve impairment:

  • Reduce fatigue-related accidents
  • Disconnect from deadly distractions
  • End substance impairment in transportation
  • Require medical fitness for duty

In his press conference remarks, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart noted that no state has a ban on hands-free cell phone use even though it causes cognitive distraction. When it comes to substance impairment, he says that alcohol is not the only problem. Impairment with prescription, over-the-counter, recreational, and newly-emerging synthetic drugs also needs to be addressed.

Collision Avoidance Technologies

The collision avoidance technologies that could save lives exist, but they are not standard equipment on most vehicles yet. On many models they are only offered as part of luxury packages. The NTSB wants collision avoidance technologies to become standard features and part of the 5-Star Safety Rating system, so that consumers are informed of the features up-front when choosing a vehicle.

Positive Train Control

Positive Train Control (PTC) is a technology that can stop trains from derailing or colliding when operators fail to act. For instance, it can prevent a massive accident if the operator has a heart attack and is rendered unconscious. In 2008, Congress passed a law requiring the implementation of PTC by the end of last year, but it has now extended the deadline to 2018. PTC would have prevented the horrible derailment in Philadelphia, in May, 2015, that left more than 200 injured and eight people dead.

If you have been injured in an avoidable transportation accident, please contact AccidentAttorneys.org to be connected with an experienced accident attorney in your area.

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