With a reviving economy on the rise, so are concerns over deadly tractor trailer and bus accidents. Despite nearly a 38.5% decline in big truck fatalities since 2005, safety experts attribute this decrease not to safety regulations and recommendations, but rather to a slow economy now set for a comeback.
On Tuesday May 10th 2011 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began a two-day forum to hear from federal regulators, safety experts, and the truck and bus industries to discuss safety recommendations to eliminate deadly crashes caused by driver fatigue, faulty equipment and unsafe passenger vehicles. Past safety recommendations, some of them decades old, have been ignored and have not been enacted.
The Obama administration has proposed several steps to toughen bus and truck regulation. One such proposal would require equipping trucks and buses with devices that record how many hours drivers are behind the wheel. The administration also wants to reduce the daily limit on hours drivers may spend behind the wheel from 11 hours to 10 hours and enact several other safety standards.
Additionally, safety advocates emphasize that accident avoidance is not enough and that it is just as important to ensure passengers can survive a crash when one occurs. The NTSB has been pushing for years for stronger bus roofs that won’t crush in rollover accidents, better emergency exits, improved fire protection and windows that prevent passengers from being ejected. They also want trucks and buses to have some of the safety technology that’s available on many cars and on buses in other countries.