The National Transportation Safety Board is a government agency that’s independent and handles all investigations relating to transportation accidents. Their main duties often require carrying out reports and investigations relating to all kinds of highway accidents, aviation crashes, railroad accidents, and marine incidents.
The board was established back in 1967 to be the main agency of investigation covering all types of transportation, including travel by air, road, train, and water. The NTSB originally had a strong relationship with the Department of Transportation; however, they were separated completely in 1975 with the Independent Safety Board Act.
Because of the agency’s major role as a chief investigative resource for transportation, the growth in distracted driving over the past few years, in particular, has become a major issue for the NTSB. The NTSB has conducted many investigations relating to distracted driving aimed at proving the risk that drivers take when using cell phones and other mobile devices while behind the wheel of a car.
In 2010, the NTSB released a major set of statistics that focused on the investigation of distraction-related accidents across all modes of transportation, not just automobiles. The NTSB pointed out five cases in particular to show the impact that distractions can have on transportation. The cases involved a motorcoach accident in 2004, a train accident in 2008, an airline incident in 2009, a boat accident in 2010, as well as a major collision involving a tractor-trailer in 2010. All of these investigations tied the role of distractions to injuries, and in some cases, deaths.
Attentive Driving Forum
As one of the primary events to kick off Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, the NTSB often holds a major forum to commemorate the occasion. In 2012, the NTSB hosted an attentive driving forum that combined many guest speakers and panel discussions on the topic of distracted driving. The one-day forum focused on the wide range of different types of distractions and plans moving forward. Major discussions also centered on the different state laws being adopted and their effectiveness in the future.