WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Transportation Safety Board unveiled its 2016 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements Jan. 13, calling it a “road map from lessons learned to lives saved.”
The list focuses on 10 broad safety improvements on which the NTSB has made recommendations that have not yet been implemented. One of those items is preventing inadvertent spins and stalls within the general aviation community – the worst safety problem facing general aviation.
While airlines have become very safe, safety progress has slowed in the less widely understood world of general aviation, NTSB officials noted.
Several items on the list demonstrate the importance of technology in saving lives, preventing accidents and lessening the number and severity of injuries from accidents.
For example, the list calls for promoting both the availability of collision avoidance technology in highway vehicles, and the completion of rail safety initiatives to prevent accidents. The list also calls for strengthening occupant protection in all modes of transportation, including laws mandating primary enforcement of seatbelt use, and age-appropriate child restraints.
Distraction (especially from portable electronic devices) and fatigue continue to be serious safety issues in all modes of transportation, according to NTSB officials.
The list also notes that undiagnosed and untreated medical conditions have caused or contributed to accidents and calls for operators and regulators to require medical fitness for duty.
Impairment is also an issue in all modes of transportation. The NTSB has recommended lowering the legal limit on blood alcohol content to .05 to reduce deaths and injuries on highways. However, drugs other than alcohol can also impair drivers and operators of other types of vehicles – whether these drugs are recreational, over-the-counter, or prescription.
“All of these most wanted transportation safety improvements are the result of our accident investigations,” NTSB officials noted in a press release. “Our most powerful tool to learn safety lessons from accidents is data recorders. Thus, the list calls for their increased use in all modes of transportation.”