Fatigue Expert to Run the NHTSA, Focus on Risk Assessment

The current U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration deputy director will soon be leaving his position in order to allow a specialist in human fatigue to take over.

The decision follows reports concerning the latest announcements regarding the botched recall campaigns affecting vehicles fitted with certain defective air bags manufactured by Takata. As we’ve mentioned previously, the affected vehicles have already been associated with deaths and serious personal injuries.

The new member of the National Transportation Safety Board and soon to be deputy director should soon be facing important challenges as the federal agency manages their risk assessment procedures. According to many safety advocacy groups, the NHTSA has not been making sure that car owners are safe by failing to address cases of accident reports. When many accidents occur due to the same problems, the patterns should not be ignored, which is what happened to the GM cars that ended up being recalled only ten years after the first issues were reported.

Now that the agency is struggling to persuade automakers that the air bag-related recalls should be issued to car owners of the entire country, the new deputy director should be faced with several issues he will have to address promptly. According to the official reports, the man picked to run the NHTSA is a fatigue specialist who studied the effect of fatigue on pilots when he worked for NASA. After he left the agency, he founded Alertness Solutions, a company that offer automakers and other industries solutions regarding the management of fatigue-related problems. Too often, fleets are affected negatively due to fatigue. The new NHTSA director has been working for years on making sure that solutions to these problems can be made widely available so that fewer accidents occur as a result.

The NHTSA has been under scrutiny over the several deadly accidents caused by defects that neither the agency nor the manufacturers were able to identify promptly after the first reports surfaced. To many safety advocates, this shift could mean that a new approach to risk evaluation may be put in place.

Whether you’re a car aficionado or simply a commuter, driving a safe car should be a priority. Too often, entire families are directly impacted because of equipment failure that had never been identified and addressed until the first accidents began to occur.

Hopefully, the NHTSA is working hard to make sure that automakers are making safer and more efficient cars so that the number of accidents related to recalled vehicles drop. To learn more about the person who is going to soon be in charge of the NHTSA, follow this link.


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