Every year the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issues a “Most Wanted List” highlighting safety issues that it identifies from accident investigations. The purpose is to increase awareness about the issues and recommend safety solutions. For 2014, the NTSB has identified unique characteristics of helicopter operations, eliminating distractions and substance-impaired driving, pipeline safety, rail mass transit operational safety and other important issues that it sees that need improvement. For example, the NTSB wrote, “Over the last 10 years, the NTSB has investigated numerous helicopter accidents and issued over 100 safety recommendations on helicopter-specific issues. Increased awareness and action by helicopter manufacturers, helicopter operators, and training and regulatory agencies is needed.” Indeed, the Midwest has seen a number of tragic helicopter crashes and Clifford Law Offices represents a number of families who suffered in these horrific incidents, including medivac helicopters. The NTSB also pointed out, “In 2012 in the United States, more than 10,000 traffic deaths involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Drugs also affect driving ability. In order to prevent crashes, reduce injuries, and save lives, we need stronger laws, swifter enforcement, and expanded use of technology.” Again, Clifford Law Offices has represented a number of people who have innocently suffered because of alcohol-impaired drivers. The consequences can be devastating to a family. It also talked about rail mass transit: “Public rail mass transit, comprised of light rail, commuter rail, and subways, affects the lives of millions of people daily. Although each system poses unique equipment, operating environments, and challenges, all can benefit from strengthening their organizational safety cultures.” Clifford Law Office is proud to say that because of some of its rail lawsuits, including that of internationally-acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton who tragically was involved in a Metra accident that severely injured her, procedures and protocol were improved at the rail company so that others would not suffer similar horrific injuries. The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged by Congress to investigate every civil aviation crash in the U.S. and sometimes is invited to do so in international crashes around the world because of its expertise. It also investigates significant accidents in railroad, highway, marine and pipeline tragedies. The agency tries to determine the probable cause of the accident and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. For more information on “critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives,” click here.