Young & McCarthy LLP

NTSB proposes six steps for safer commercial trucking

Truck drivers in Ohio should know that some of the most desired transportation safety changes relate directly to the commercial trucking industry. Six out of the 10 items on the National Transportation Safety Board's 2019-2020 Most Wanted List are proposed improvements to this industry. Below is an outline of those six recommendations.

The NTSB desires the elimination of distracted driving first and foremost. It recommends that all states should ban the non-emergency use of handheld phones and all other portable electronic devices with the exception of navigation software. States should also have a driver distraction code on traffic accident investigation forms.

Secondly, the NTSB wants to eliminate DUIs. The organization asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for access to all positive alcohol and drug test results. The FMCSA has been advised to develop a plan for reducing truckers' use of intoxicating substances, including synthetic cannabinoids. Thirdly, speeding should be reduced through the use of speed limiters and automated speed enforcement.

The NTSB's fourth suggestion is the implementation of collision avoidance systems. They recommend that not just commercial trucks, but all highway vehicles should be fitted with this technology. The fifth item focused on drowsy driving. A program could be developed to identify the drivers who had a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Lastly, in safety-sensitive situations, the NTSB wants mandatory OSA screening for truckers and highway personnel.

Speeding and drowsy and distracted driving are just a few forms of driver negligence. When trucker negligence is behind a crash, victims may want to see a lawyer who specializes in truck accidents. That way, they may find out if they are eligible for compensation and how much. Ohio follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means plaintiffs can recover damages even if they are partially to blame for a crash. An attorney may negotiate for a reasonable settlement.

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