The National Transportation Safety Board is devoting more energy to eliminating a particularly injurious kind of crash, the so-called sudden acceleration crash. These car, truck and bus crashes originate from a standstill  and are generally the result of the driver inadvertantly hitting the gas and not the brake. Many of you will remember the reports of sudden acceleration of Audis in the past and the overwhelming research on the subject has implicated driver errror and not vehicular defects.

The NTSB's particular interest has stemmed from a series of school bus crashes, most notably in Liberty, Missouri and Falls Township, Pennsylvania. Their findings, that pedal misapplication by the vehicle operators was responsible, has led to some new recommendations.

The most prominent of these involves the use of brake transmission shift interlock systems, which is to say devices that require that the operator has their foot on the brake when shifting from park into drive. This system is becoming more widespread but even it cannot entirely eliminate pedal misapplication. For this, the agency is examining pedal configurations in an attempt to decrease operator mistakes.

The NTSB has previously mandated that all school buses and commercial motorcoaches manufactured after January 1st, 2003 be equipped with on-board recording systems which will monitor and record the driving behavior of both the vehicle and its operator. This information rather like the black boxes on airliners, will enable investigators to explore how and why collisions involving buses occur and hopefully reduce their incidence.
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