Human fatigue remains one of the most widespread safety issues in the transportation industry, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which rates it as No. 2 on its 2002 list of “12 Most Wanted” Transportation Safety Improvements.
NTSB recommends that the Dept. of Transportation, as well as other agencies, work to eliminate fatigue as a causal factor by studying the relationship between fatigue and accidents within the transportation industry, and by updating each industry's applicable regulations.
NTSB also called for “Automatic Information Recording Devices,” saying they are probably the single most effective investigative tool available. “To improve the quality and quantity of the data available, NSTB recommends that FHWA, NHTSA, FAA, FRA, USCG, the trucking associations, and the American Public Transit Assn. require devices on commercial vehicles/vessels that will automatically record relevant information,” the NTSB noted.
Under “Commercial Truck and Bus Safety,” NTSB said that to prevent needless loss of life in crashes, DOT, NHTSA, and FHWA should modify commercial carrier rating standards, enhance occupant safety, modify hours-of-service regulations, and increase vehicle standards.