Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board recently released the Most Wanted List for 2014. The list includes the top awareness and advocacy priorities for the agency this year. For the first time ever, many of these focus points include improving operational safety in rail mass transit.
There are millions of Americans, many right here in Boston, who rely on light rail, subways and commuter rail on a regular basis. In the last year, officials with the NTSB have opened investigations into accidents involving a number of transit authorities throughout the nation. In many of these investigations, officials have found that there’s a serious need for some safety improvements.
Our accident lawyers in Massachusetts understand that each year, there are more than 35,000 fatalities on various transportation systems throughout the nation. That right there is enough to put public transportation on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List. But that’s not the only addition to the list this year. Officials have also added helicopter operations to the list. From January of 2003 to May of 2013, there were close to 1,500 helicopter accidents recorded in the U.S.
Also new in the 2014 list is occupant protection. While we always focus on preventing accidents, we also need to focus on how to protect the people in these accidents. Officials are looking into increasing the use of current occupation protection systems and are working to get manufacturers to take a close look at crashworthiness.
Also On The List:
-Passenger Vessel Safety
-Positive Train Control
One of the additions on this list is pleasing safe-driving advocates throughout the nation. By adding distraction, officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) are encouraged — specifically regarding targeting the use of portable electronic devices by drivers.
Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
“Thousands die each year in car crashes involving distracted drivers,” said John Ulczycki with the NSC. “The Council is dedicated to ending these crashes, and NTSB has been a great ally as we work toward that goal.”
In the state of Massachusetts, drivers under the age of 18 are banned from all cell phone usage. All drivers, regardless of age or license status, are banned from texting while behind the wheel.
You can help stop distracted driving. Change your driving habits and help others do the same by learning about the dangers of distracted driving and sharing them with friends, family members and those in your community.
Contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777 today.
More Blog Entries:
Chain Reaction Accident Sends Motorists to UMass Memorial, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2014
Wrong Way Driver Blamed for Death of Malden High School Teen, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2014