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NTSB’s Safety Wish List & Risks for Knoxville Drivers

The National Transportation Safety Board has released it’s Top 10 list of safety improvements — and 2 of the top 3 are in your hands.

NBC News reports vehicle collision prevention, operator distraction and impaired driving round out the top three. 1251112_a_bridge_i_the_night.jpg

Our personal injury attorneys in Knoxville recently discussed autumn accident risks, including early darkness, aggressive driving and bad weather.

The truth of the matter is that darkness and the stress of the holidays amplify the risks associated with all sorts of poor driving decisions, and certainly driving under the influence of alcohol or driving distracted are chief among them.

NTSB’s Most Wanted Safety Improvements

Collision-Avoidance Technology: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should require vehicle manufacturers to include an array of available crash-avoidance technology on vehicles. While manufacturers continue to test vehicle-to-vehicle crash-avoidance systems, the industry has largely engaged in foot-dragging when it comes to mandated safety technology. Rear-view cameras, which could drastically reduce the risk of backover parking lot risks, are just one example. The industry has thus far successfully stalled an NHTSA initiative that would have required such technology be installed in all new cars beginning in 2014.

Operator Distraction: As we reported recently, Tennessee is one of two dozen states with a hybrid distracted driving law (underage drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while adults are only forbidden from text messaging). These types of laws continue to make enforcement difficult. Nationwide, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports 10 states have banned all hand-held cell phone use — nearly 40 have banned text messaging. The NTSB continues to push for a ban on all non-essential cell-phone use by drivers, as well as those operating buses, vessels, trains and planes. The nation’s lead transportation safety organization is also pushing for cell-phone companies to develop technologies that disable the devices when in the hands of someone operating a moving vehicle.

Driving Under the Influence: The NTSB is pushing for the development of technologies that can identify drivers under the influence of drugs, as well as additional in-car technologies like ignition interlock devices, which have been proven to reduce the risk of serious and fatal accidents involving intoxicated drivers. Tennessee drunk driving accidents were responsible for about one-third of the state’s 1,031 traffic deaths in 2010.

The NTSB, which is responsible for investigating civilian aircraft accidents as well as significant accidents involving other modes of transportation, would also like to see improvements in airport runways, general aviation, intercity buses, the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure, pipelines, train-control technology and fire prevention and suppression.

Certainly the cause of many traffic crashes are out of your control. But we can all improve our chances when it comes to arriving home safely. Remember the big three — speed, distraction and intoxication — which are responsible for the most number of serious and fatal accidents.

Be extra careful after dark and in bad weather. And allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely.

If you are involved in a Tennessee traffic accident, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights at (865) 524-5657.

Additional Resources:

Tennessee Distracted Driving Law & Your Car Insurance Rates, Published by Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C., Nov. 9, 2012.

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