The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its annual Top 10 Most Wanted List (attached), which represents the agency’s advocacy priorities. TSC agrees with the NTSB on these much-need safety changes, six of which relate to trucking. We have seen progress on some of these issues, but there is still more work to be done.
Reduce Fatigue-Related Crashes
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Final Rule was released in December 2015, which requires ELDs on trucks.
- TSC has been and continues to work towards enhancing Hours-of-Service requirements and reducing truckers’ allowable hours.
- TSC supports rulemaking that would require truck drivers to undergo sleep apnea screening.
Promote Availability of Collision Avoidance Technologies in Highway Vehicles
- TSC wants mandatory installation of forward collision avoidance and mitigation (F-CAM) technology on all new large trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more.
- NHTSA estimates show that:
- Current generation F-CAM systems can prevent more than 2,500 crashes each year.
- Future generation F-CAM systems could prevent more than 6,300 crashes annually.
- Research indicates that every year a full implementation of F-CAM is delayed:
- 166 people will unnecessarily die.
- 8,000 individuals will suffer injuries.
End Substance Impairment in Transportation
- TSC is awaiting a final rule for a drug clearinghouse, which would create a federal database to track and store information about CDL holders who have drug and alcohol-related incidents on their records.
- The use of any substance, including Schedule II drugs, that impairs cognitive or motor ability should be monitored or eliminated for operators of commercial motor vehicles.
Require Medical Fitness for Duty (See Reduce Fatigue and End Substance Impairment sections)
- 69% of long-haul truck drivers (LHTDs) are obese compared to 31% in the adult working population.
- 17% of LHTDs are morbidly obese.
Expand Use of Recorders to Enhance Safety
- Event Data Recorders (EDR) are devices that record information related to highway vehicle crash.
- EDRs record technical vehicle and occupant information for a brief period of time before, during and after a crash. For example, EDRs may record speed, steering, braking, acceleration, seatbelt use, and, in the event of a crash, force of impact and whether airbags deployed.
- TSC supports standardizing and mandating EDRs in all large trucks.
Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publish a final rule in 2010 that prohibits texting by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers while operating in interstate commerce and imposes sanctions, including civil penalties and disqualification from operating CMVs in interstate commerce.
- Recent research commissioned by FMCSA shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) is 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who engage in texting while driving than for those who do not.
Link to NTSB Website: http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Pages/default.aspx