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The 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements released by the National Transportation Safety Board should be of interest to truck fleet owners in West Virginia. Six of the 10 listed items address safety issues in the commercial trucking industry. For example, distracted driving is a serious issue among truckers, and the NTSB wants to see it eliminated. It encourages states to ban the non-emergency use of handheld electronic devices save for navigators.

In the effort to reduce the use of impaired substances, including synthetic cannabinoids, among truck drivers, the NTSB has solicited a plan from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It has also asked the FMCSA for access to all its positive drug and alcohol test results.

The list calls for an additional program from the FMCSA, this time identifying truckers with a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea. OSA screening and treatment should be mandated for any rail or highway personnel who hold safety-sensitive positions.

The NTSB also wishes to see a reduction in speeding-related crashes. That's why it has recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration develop standards for the use of speed limiters. In fact, speed limiters should be mandated for all newly manufactured CMVs, according to the NTSB. Another item on the list is concerned with implementing forward-collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking, among other safety tech.

Truckers are often to blame for the accidents they cause. After a police investigation determines the fault of each side, those who think they are eligible for compensation may want to see a lawyer about filing a personal injury claim. It must be filed within two years of the accident. In West Virginia, plaintiffs can receive damages if they are less than 50 percent to blame for a crash. A lawyer may be able to achieve a settlement for plaintiffs out of court.

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