Transportation safety can be understood as the protocols put in place by the respective road authorities of a country to ensure that life and property are protected from the different forms of transportation in operation. Transportation safety’s importance cannot be stressed enough. Being a fundamental aspect in accident prevention, it stands to remain the number one priority of the Department of Transportation. The department, in turn, facilitates it by collaborating with federal agencies and the office responsible for policy development. Together, they engage in setting up regulations and the development and management of various relevant technologies with regard to the field. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (2018), the office gives technical expertise on matters of policies for the regulatory, legislative, and research programs of the department. It serves as the focal point of the department for setting up initiatives relating to its safety mission in all aspects of transportation.
According to “Highway Design and Road Safety” (2018), up to one-third of road traffic accidents have been found to be work-related. Furthermore, over 800 drivers of heavy goods vehicles are killed every year in road accidents. There is a substantial increase in the figure when deaths of people driving vehicles under 3.5 tones are included. It further claims that in the U.S, people working in the communications, transport, and public utility sectors stood the highest risk of being involved in fatal accidents. This especially affected those working in material moving and transportation occupations such as truck drivers. The department links the main cause of these accidents to human error at 85%. Other factors linked to the same included the weather, technical failures and infrastructural conditions which stood at 25%. The main factors causing accidents between truck drivers and other the other road users were found to be a failure to observe road rules at intersections, improper maneuvers applied when changing lanes, and non-adapted speed. The study showed that the drivers of big trucks suffered less fatal injuries than the other drivers.
Pros to the Concept of Transportation Safety
As earlier stated, safety is one of the most fundamental aspects of transportation. Without its implementation, transportation would be a high-risk endeavor. The concept mainly highlights the importance of continuously conducting evaluations on the fatalities occurring on our roads and creating respective countermeasures to prevent their reoccurrence. It is, therefore, that Department of Transportation formulated a component to its function, called the safety team, to oversee this. The team is charged with various duties aimed at promoting road safety. These include reviewing and analyzing the safety implications that the domestic policy has on transportation, recommending policies aimed at fatalities and injury rates in transportation, evaluating the public policies on safety in transportation, and developing legislation on transportation (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2018). The team also engages the stakeholders on the issues impacting safety issues and is involved in monitoring compliance procedures in the handling recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board and its administrators. By conducting the various analysis and advising the department respectively, this team ensures transportation safety remains at its optimum.
Bottlenecks in Transportation Safety
There are various main bottlenecks to transportation safety. These features have been known to be the leading causes of road accidents and once they are addressed, there’ll be a definite and significant increase in safety in transportation. As per Muppala (2016), the increase in double income families has caused a surge in numbers of vehicles on roads. This, in turn, has increased the likelihood of accidents. Most of these can be attributed to various common practices by both truck and small vehicle users. They include over speeding, drunken driving, poor vehicle maintenance, poor balancing of cargo, and lack of proper indicators on vehicles. The accidents also commonly occur due to faulty road design, poor lighting on roads, as well as bad weather conditions.
In order to reduce the amount of death cases and fatalities occurring on roads, there is need for strong policies on road and transportation safety set in place. This can be facilitated by addressing the issues identified above, creating awareness among the people on safety protocols, and putting well-trained road police officers to oversee the same.