NSC applauds the National Transportation Safety Board's Most Wanted List

Jan 16, 2014, 11:46 ET from National Safety Council

Annual summary of transportation priorities includes eliminating distraction in transportation

ITASCA, Ill., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Safety Council applauds the National Transportation Safety Board for again including distraction in transportation – specifically the use of portable electronic devices – on its 2014 Most Wanted List. The list was released today and outlines the agency's highest transportation safety priorities. It is designed to educate about the most pressing issues and gain support for the changes necessary to reduce crashes involving vehicles, planes, vessels and trains.

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"Thousands die each year in car crashes involving distracted drivers," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. "The Council is dedicated to ending these crashes, and NTSB has been a great ally as we work toward that goal."

NSC estimates 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phone use – handheld or hands-free. NTSB is a leader on the issue of distracted driving and became the first federal agency to call for a total ban on all cell phone use in 2011. The move sent a strong message about the dangers of both handheld and hands-free device use, which numerous studies show is not safer. Drivers talking on cell phones are cognitively distracted, and hands-free devices do not prevent drivers from diverting their attention from driving.

Drivers who are talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times as likely to be involved in a crash. Cell phone distracted drivers miss seeing up to 50 percent of their driving environment and have significantly delayed reaction times.    

Also included on the Most Wanted List are: addressing unique characteristics of helicopter operations; advancing passenger vessel safety; eliminating substance-impaired driving; enhancing pipeline safety; improving fire safety in transportation; identifying and communicating hazardous weather in general aviation; implementing positive train control systems; promoting operational safety in rail mass transit; and strengthening occupant protection in transportation. 

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. Safety+Health magazine, the Council's flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.

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SOURCE National Safety Council