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Collision-mitigation tech mandate, distracted driving top NTBS list

Six of the 10 issues listed in the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted List” for 2013 focus on highway travel, including hope for a mandate for collision avoidance technology for trucks, eliminating distractions like portable electronics and eliminating substance-impaired driving. 

The list covers all modes of transportation and, NTSB says, the intent for each of the 10 items is to mitigate causes of death and injury. 

The list includes: 

  • Banning “nonessential use” of electronic and other devices
  • Mandating inclusion of collision-mitigating technologies as standard equipment
  • Investing and “allocating resources” in transportation infrastructure 
  • Eliminating substance-impaired driving by implementing preventative programs and assessments for abuse
  • Improving bus safety operations by ensuring drivers are qualified and well rested
  • Improving fire safety via temperature monitoring of wheels and engine rooms
  • Improving general aviation safety
  • Implementing positive train controls ystems
  • Enhancing pipeline safety
  • Making aircraft runway operations safer




I don't think that It's a bad Idea at all to have onboard data recording devices or OBDR's, especially if the Data that they collect can be read back by the driver and correlated with the onboard GPS system.  GPS systems probably prevent a lot of driver stress and strain and distracted driving. It would really be nice to have a GPS system in every tractor that could give real time traffic reports.  I really like the MaptoIt system that they have at the FFE, except for the fact that It has a small 3" screen and the speaker volume of It Is'nt very effective sometimes.  It would be Good to place Ipads or PC's in the tractor in order to present some computer based training modules and to monitor Your own track record. There's nothing wrong with having the same radar systems and backing cameras in commercial vehicles that they have in the SUV's and the new midsized cars.

Gordon A
Gordon A

That's an impressive list .  Preventing collisions is a good place to start. It is not the truck that causes the collisions but the nut behind the wheel.  Professionals make driving a truck look simple. It is not. To prevent collisions they need to start at the beginning. The driving schools. Far too many  do not graduate quality drivers but quantity of drivers for the green back.  The all mighty dollar.    Institute stricter  criteria for truck driving schools. More on MAP reading and less on GPS. More on maintenance on the vehicle.   Far too many driving schools and trucking companies  put people behind the wheel only because they are still breathing. Electronics  preventing accidents is not the answer.

Smarter drivers is the key to safety. Not just test passers but those with a bit more common sense .. Drivers with a sense of responsibility. The best preventive measure is to allow drivers to stop the clock for safety naps, meals,. This new HOS sucks and is not one bit for safety but revenue enhancement and is put into effect by those that know nothing about trucking except they are too big to see through and they are slow. Tired unhealthy drivers are the cause of incidents.    At times  poorly maintained vehicles. Putting all the electronics  you want on a vehicle will not prevent stupid, nor prevent tiredness, Nor will it prevent inattentiveness. Properly trained drivers entering the world of trucking is the way to prevent accidents and incidents. Take politics out of trucking and Professionalism will return. Count on it. Depend on it.