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The NTSB and When Significant Accidents Happen Part 2

In this three-part article, we are discussing catastrophes and construction. As we have seen with the recent news of the Florida International University (FIU) pedestrian bridge collapsing, it’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes there are defects in designs or the wrong materials or building practices were used during the construction process. Although the vast majority of construction projects follow proper safety procedures, if a contractor is considered negligent, they will surely need the assistance of an experienced Tallahassee construction attorney.

As we covered in the first section, there is an independent federal agency that investigates these significant accidents and determines why the tragedy transpired. As we will discuss in this section, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) even has a department dedicated specifically to highway safety and accident prevention. As we will cover in the final section, this department is currently investigating the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse and analyzing why this accident transpired.

The Office of Highway Safety

Within the NTSB is the Office of Highway Safety department. As the department’s name suggests, the Office of Highway Safety investigates catastrophic accidents related to highway transportation. As it states on their website, these incidents include everything from “collapses of highway bridge structures, fatalities on public transportation vehicles (such as buses and vans), and collisions at highway/rail grade crossings.” Essentially, the Office of Highway Safety is tasked with assisting with restoring the public’s faith in highway transportation by analyzing significant accidents, identifying the “common risks” or consistent catalysts to these devastating mishaps, and determining the best solutions through research methods.

Two Divisions That Help Prevent Catastrophic Highway Accidents

The Office of Highway Safety is divided into two divisions: the Investigations Division and the Report Development Division.

The Investigations Division: Agency representatives for the Investigations Division are the inspectors that respond to the catastrophic accidents by visiting the scene of the accident and performing investigatory tactics to determine why the accident happened. These division members “specialize in human performance, highway factors, vehicle factors, survival factors, and commercial motor carrier operations” and are led by an “Investigator-in-Charge.”

The Report Development Division: This division’s major motive is communicating important highway safety matters to the public. The Report Development Division performs a variety of analytical practices and safety studies that assist with highway safety affairs. The division also is responsible for the “development of the final accident reports and safety recommendations” pertaining to these catastrophic highway accidents.

If you would like to speak with one of our Tallahassee construction law attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.