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Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council applauds the National Transportation Safety Board for adding "promote availability of collision avoidance technologies in highway vehicles" back to its 2016 Most Wanted List, an annual rundown of the agency's transportation safety priorities. The Council also commends NTSB for including "disconnect from deadly distractions," "require medical fitness for duty" and "end substance impairment in transportation" on the agency's list again.
"Our cars are safer and smarter than ever before, yet we continue to lose 35,000 people each year in car crashes," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "The Most Wanted List is a roadmap guiding us toward zero deaths on the roads."
Most fatal car crashes involve multiple vehicles, amplifying the importance of collision avoidance technologies. Many of these technologies, such as forward collision and lane departure warnings, are available in vehicles today; however, recent research shows the majority of drivers do not know how these features work.[i] Forty percent say their vehicles have behaved in a confusing or unexpected way, underscoring the need for education.[ii]
Impairment and fitness for duty are both issues that continue to evolve. While alcohol remains a problem, prescription opioid use is an ever growing threat. Prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin can alter a person's judgment, impair coordination and create confusion. [iii] People taking the medicines are often too impaired to drive or report to work.
Distracted driving has been a traffic safety epidemic for years. Today's vehicles are equipped with technology that makes it easier to make calls, send texts, email and update social media behind the wheel. However, recent research shows these systems may also be distracting, increasing the need for consumer education.[iv]
For more information about vehicle technologies, visit MyCarDoesWhat.org. For more information on traffic safety and prescription opioids, please visit nsc.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
[i] According to University of Iowa[ii] According to the University of Iowa[iii] NSC white paper, The proactive role employers can take: Opioids in the workplace[iv] According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
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