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NTSB releases list of most wanted traffic safety improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List, and both truckers and truck fleet owners in Missouri should take note because 6 out of the 10 desired items relate to the trucking industry. The first item is to eliminate distracted driving. Among other things, the NTSB recommends that all states ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices with the exception of navigation software.

The organization also wishes to see an end to impaired driving and asks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for access to positive drug and alcohol test results. The FMCA is also advised to create a plan for reducing the use of impairing substances, including synthetic cannabinoids, among truckers.

Also on the list are the reduction of speed- and fatigue-related crashes. The NTSB encourages the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate the use of speed limiters on all commercial trucks and buses. It also recommends that states use automated speed enforcement cameras. For the latter item, the NTSB wants the FMCSA to develop a program for identifying truckers with a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea.

In addition, the NTSB desires mandatory screening and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea among rail and highway personnel. Lastly, the board wants the NHTSA to implement performance standards and protocols for the use of collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles.

The pressure of deadlines and the lure of by-the-load incentives can lead many truckers to speed and engage in other negligent behavior. When trucker negligence leads to accidents, those who are hurt may want to see if they can receive damages under personal injury law. Missouri holds to the comparative negligence rule, so those who contribute to their own injuries will have the amount of damages lowered proportionately. Victims may consider seeing a lawyer for a case assessment.