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NTSB Releases List of "Most Wanted" Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board has kicked off 2016 by releasing a list of 10 safety improvements they would like to see in cars, trucks, and other modes of transportation. As the agency responsible for investigating car crashes and most other transportation-related accidents, the NTSB has unique insight into the most common causes. In this blog, we take a look at some of the changes that are most likely to be implemented this year.

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Mandate Collision Avoidance Technologies

Over the last few years, many cars have been introduced to the market with a variety of collision-avoidance features. While these technologies have been primarily included in premium or luxury cars, they are starting to become more commonplace in more affordable vehicles. These technologies include, but are not limited to:

  • Collision warning
  • Autonomous or automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Blind spot detection systems

Many of these systems can be added to existing cars using aftermarket kits, but the NTSB hopes that these technologies will soon be mandatory for all cars sold in the U.S.

Ban Hands-Free Cellphone Use
It’s no secret that distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents, and cell phone use is a major factor. While most states have banned texting while driving, only 14 currently ban the use of a hand-held cellphone while behind the wheel. The NTSB wants to take things further – they are recommending that lawmakers ban even hands-free use of cell phones.

Install Positive Train Control Nationwide

Positive Train Control, or PTC, is essentially a set of technologies and standard practices which may help prevent serious train accidents, such as last year’s derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia. While railroads are required to install these systems by 2018 per a Congressional mandate, the NTSB thinks this isn’t soon enough. They have called for aggressive updates to current rail systems, and have recommended faster improvements to address other railroad-related safety issues.

Crack Down On Impaired Drivers

Drinking and driving is known to be a dangerous and potentially illegal practice, but many people are still convicted of DUI every year. What is lesser known, however, is the danger created by people driving under the influence of both prescription and illicit drugs. The NTSB has called for stronger countermeasures, including requiring ignition interlock devices for all convicted offenders, and has even suggested that such technology be mandated in new cars.

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