The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced its 2019-2020 “Most Wanted List” of suggested transportation improvements. Among the investigative agency’s list are several key requests, including one that has particular importance to South Carolina residents who remember the tragic 2018 Amtrak crash that killed two people and injured more than 100 others. To avoid future such collisions across the country, the NTSB is asking for full implementation of positive train control, a braking system that would hopefully stop train accidents from occurring in the first place.
In addition to the request for positive train control systems, the NTSB is also focusing on highway-related changes. Three of the strongest recommendations involve: the elimination of distractions, a reduction of fatigue-related incidents, and an end to driver impairment from drugs and alcohol. To be sure, simply chipping away slightly at these problems could lead to positive widespread change in the form of fewer car accidents, not to mention related injuries, fatalities, and property damages.
Stop Driver Distractions
As most people know, drivers who are not distracted are in a better position to avoid wrecks and make wise decisions on the road. Therefore, the NTSB urges that no driver should be allowed to operate a cell phone–even one in hands-free mode–while driving. Currently, South Carolina allows drivers to make calls, although they cannot text while driving without risking a fine. Additionally, the NTSB expects vehicle makers to consider ways to reduce distractions for drivers when building new vehicle models.
Reduce Fatigue-Related Incidents
The easiest way to get drowsy drivers off the road is with education and implementation of regulations, says the NTSB. For instance, professional drivers should be held to a high standard when it comes to being alert and well-rested. This can be assisted by the use of electronic logging devices, which are already required by commercial drivers. However, every driver should take it upon himself or herself to pull over when too tired to drive rather than continue operating when drowsy.
End Driver Impairment
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is already a crime. The NTSB hopes to further prevent crashes and fatalities by lowering the legal blood alcohol content limit to 0.05 percent across all 50 states and District of Columbia. Currently, South Carolina allows those with a BAC between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent to potentially avoid a DUI sentence depending upon other factors.
Another recommendation under this NTSB request is to require alcohol ignition interlock devices in any vehicles driven by those with past DUI convictions. South Carolina already has an ignition interlock program for offenders in place.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Take Action When Tragedies Happen
While these improvements would no doubt slow down the problems we face on our local and national highways, tragedies can and do still happen. If you have been involved in an auto wreck, please contact Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. to talk about the situation. Our dedicated Columbia car accident lawyers welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your case during a free consultation. Call our office at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623. You can also submit an online contact form.
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