Fully half of the suggestions on the National Transportation Safety Board's Most Wanted List for 2021-2022 are focused on vehicles and drivers on the nation's highways.
The NTSB Tuesday, April 6, approved the list that included:
- Preventing alcohol and other drug-Impaired driving
- Requiring collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies on all vehicles
- Eliminating distracted driving
- Implementing a comprehensive strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes, including creating standards for and installation of speed limiters on all trucks
- Protecting vulnerable road users through a safe system approach
In its recommendations on curbing speeding, the NTSB wrote, "Legislation, technology, and education are the keys to addressing this societal problem." It said:
- Develop performance standards for advanced speed-limiting technology, such as variable speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation devices, for heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, and motorcoaches. Then require that all newly manufactured heavy vehicles be equipped with such devices.
- Collaborate with traffic safety stakeholders to develop and implement an ongoing program to increase public awareness of speeding as a national traffic safety issue.
- Revise regulations to strengthen requirements for all speed engineering studies and remove the guidance that speed limits in speed zones be within 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed.
- Update speed enforcement guidelines to reflect the latest automated speed enforcement technologies and operating practices and promote these guidelines.
- Amend current laws to authorize state and local agencies to use automated speed enforcement and amend current laws to remove operational and location restrictions on the use of automated speed enforcement.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Slow down during bad weather, when a road is under repair, in poorly lit areas at night, or in other challenging driving conditions.
RELATED (from 2019): NTSB wants speed limiters, other safety measures
"A large percentage of highway crashes are caused by distracted or inattentive drivers," said the N TSB in its announcement of the Most Wanted List, which contain s only suggestions as the agency has no enforcement powers. "Collision-avoidance and connected-vehicle technologies can address the human error that can lead to crashes-saving thousands of lives on the nation’s roads." To that end the NTSB said:
- Complete standards for collision-warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems in commercial vehicles and require this technology in all highway vehicles and all new school buses.
- Develop performance standards for connected-vehicle technology and restart the proposed rulemaking to require this technology be installed on all newly manufactured highway vehicles.
- Improve consumer awareness about collision-avoidance systems available in passenger vehicles by improving how these technologies are tested, evaluated, and rated in the New Car Assessment Program’s 5-star rating system.
Vehicle Manufacturers/Dealers should:
- Install and make standard in all vehicles forward-collision avoidance systems that, at a minimum, include a collision-warning component. They should not just be options sold as part of expensive add-on packages.
- Educate consumers on the capabilities and limitations of forward-collision avoidance systems.
- Buy vehicles with collision warning and AEB systems, and learn how these systems work to understand their limitations. There is no replacement for an alert driver. Collision-avoidance systems can help drivers avoid crashes in some scenarios, but drivers must still always remain alert.
The rest of the NTSB's Most Wanted list included safety items for aviation, railroads, pipelines, and watercraft.