The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has taken steps to recommend changes to the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of people operating vehicles. The NTSB is an independent federal agency that investigates and reports on significant transportation incidents occurring throughout the United States. The organization recently published the “2016 Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements” report. Within it, the agency calls for measures to be taken to help reduce the number of car accidents occurring on the road today.
NTSB Says DUI Accident Risks Are Evident
In the NTSB’s report, it noted that the 2013 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey that found that 13 percent of drivers said they had driven at or over the BAC level limit within the previous year. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that as much as 112 million people drive each year beyond these impairment levels. Yet another statistic provided by the NTSB in its call for changes to be made is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of fatalities related to those who had drugs in their system was 18 percent in 2009, up from 13 percent in 2005.
What Can Be Done?
The NTSB provides some specific steps that it recommends that states take to improve these risks and statistics. Among the most common changes that they would like to see include the following.
- Education and data are necessary to learn more about the scope of the problem as well as how effective the current countermeasures are in regards to it.
- States should increase the collection, documentation, and reporting of driver BAC test results after a crash occurs on a more routine basis, improving the overall information available.
- Within commercial industries, there should be more requirements and less neglect in the reporting of BAC levels in drivers after an accident occurs.
The organization also believes that people need to better understand the consequences of what happens when they drive with impairment. Specifically, it states that the risks are very high when people are taking medications. Many times, people do not realize that medications, not just illicit drugs, can impair their ability to function safely on the roadways. They recommend that doctors talk to patients more readily about these risks before patients are on the road.
Additionally, the NTSB says that while people do understand the danger of drinking and driving, they do not understand what driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol actually does to a person and that even when there are low levels of BAC in place, risks are still very prominent.
Finally, NTSB also recommends that stronger impaired driving laws and a higher level of high-visibility enforcement be put in place. It recommends the use of technology as well as certain tools to limit these risks. For example, the implementation of ignition interlocks or even passive alcohol sensors can help to detect and stop driving under the influence.
Contact a Massachusetts Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt as a result of a driver that was impaired, it may be possible to obtain compensation for the losses you’ve experienced. To ensure you have the best possible opportunity to do this, contact an experienced accident attorney to discuss your case. Peter Ventura is available to discuss your needs during a free initial case evaluation. Contact us now at 508-755-7535 or visit us online for the support you need.