In the wake of several bad school bus and 18 wheeler accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has proposed a number of changes that will allow vehicles to navigate the highways and byways of the country a bit more safely. When cars and trucks can communicate by sending packets of data through wireless devices, drivers will be more effectively warned when a dangerous situation is fast arising. The technology is expected to be especially effective near intersections and other high-traffic areas. The NTSB commissioned a study of the new technology after a recent spate of accidents between commercial trucking vehicles and school buses. While the final report is not due for several weeks, there are subtle indications that the technology will significantly cut down on injuries and fatalities on the road. When an accident is in the making, vehicles will be able to communicate with each other through electronic signals, which will ultimately be translated into warnings. Alert drivers can then make last-second course corrections to avoid potentially devastating accidents. Implementation and Feasibility While any reputable 18 wheeler accident attorney will recognize the potential benefits of allowing vehicles to communicate with each other, the actual implementation of the technology is still years off. In fact, it is not yet clear which organization would be responsible for overseeing the change. While the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has been intimately involved in the preliminary discussions, the organization has as yet not released an official statement. Most older automobiles, for example, would have to be retrofitted. While the wireless technology is already viable, installing the needed components in each and every vehicle will be a long and arduous process. Legal Issues In order to provide cars with the technology, a variety of state and federal laws will have to be brought together. In cases where cars with automated systems are found to be liable for accidents, there is some legal ambiguity. In all likelihood, a new legal framework would be needed. Once the various state laws have been unified, the NTSB will be able to offer more helpful guidelines. The National Highway Safety Transport Administration (NHSTA), which has already conducted limited tests of the technology in Michigan, is expected to be closely involved in all phases of the project going forward. Medical Certification The NTSB is also pushing for more careful oversight of commercial drivers. In recent years, truck drivers with medical issues have gotten into a number of collisions with school buses. In one particular instance, sedatives were determined to have played a role in the accident. When drivers are subjected to more rigorous medical tests, they will surely be more responsible out on the road. Well-rested vehicle operators will ultimately be more alert in high-traffic areas as well. A Versatile Approach When combined with other safety measures, connected-vehicle technology is expected to produce some very real benefits. Alongside the wireless devices, however, the NTSB has also found seat belts to be highly effective. In the six states where seat belts are required on school buses, the agency has urged school districts and parents to teach their children the importance of buckling up. The National Association for Pupil Transportation, in fact, stands ready to help. With various parties of interest working together, the number of vehicle accidents can undoubtedly be reduced in the coming years. Legal Protection While the NTSB has taken the lead on road safety, men and women who have already been injured will likely need assistance immediately. Qualified truck accident attorneys will be able to help individuals who have sustained harm in 18 wheeler accidents. A reputable accident attorney will be able to look over the case and recommend an efficient course of action going forward. In some instances, a truck accident lawyer may even be able to procure a handsome monetary settlement.