If you’ve turned on the TV or glanced at a newspaper in the past few weeks, there is no doubt you’re familiar with the government shutdown. While it’s over now, the shutdown may have affected areas of government you might not have expected. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has stated that this shutdown may have cost them critical evidence in investigating deadly crashes across the country.
I’m writing this blog post today not to comment on the shutdown itself or to offer my opinion on it. The purpose is to show how there are many areas of government that can be affected that you might not have otherwise considered.
What Is the National Transportation Safety Board?
The NTSB is an investigative agency within our government that is responsible for investigating transportation accidents in the United States. The Board investigates all sorts of different crashes, including aviation accidents, highway crashes, marine incidents, railroad crashes and more.
Whenever there is a major highway accident in the United States, it’s a safe bet to assume that the NTSB and its investigators are not far behind. The Board serves a critical role in highway safety. First, they determine what caused an accident. Second, they may choose to hold public hearings to raise awareness. Finally, a report is published after the investigation is concluded. These reports often include safety recommendations to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
The NTSB has no authority to implement its recommendations, however. That’s up to state or federal regulatory agencies or transportation companies. We’ve written before about how these recommendations often go unanswered for decades. The NTSB has urged regulators and trucking companies to focus on basic truck safety measures for decades with no real progress.
How Did the Shutdown Affect the Board?
During the shutdown, the majority of the NTSB staff were furloughed.
- Of the 397 employees, 367 were furloughed during the shutdown.
According to the NTSB, the shutdown prevented the Board from investigating 22 accidents that took the lives of 32 individuals.
Of these 22 accidents, two of them were highway crashes. One of these crashes alone killed 7 people. We also wrote a blog post about this devastating crash which stole the lives of five children and two truck drivers.
The investigations breakdown:
- 15 aviation accidents
- 2 railroad accidents
- 1 marine accident
- 2 highway accidents
- and more
After weeks of waiting, the agency has stated that some critical evidence may have been lost during the shutdown. Some crash evidence is perishable, or it must be observed directly at the accident scene. This could prevent the Board from determining what caused the accidents or how to prevent them from happening in the future.
Contact Brooks Law Group
A government shutdown doesn’t stop the Brooks Law Group from pursuing justice and compensation after your accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, look to Brooks. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to providing the best client experience possible. You don’t have to take our word for it though, we let our past clients do all the talking. Take a look at some of our client testimonials and start your journey to justice today!