Also Raises Safety Impact of Electric Vehicles
WASHINGTON (Jan. 11, 2023) — In a keynote speech to the Transportation Research Board annual meeting Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy reminded transportation leaders why they do what they do.
“We’re fighting for the 43,000 people who die on our roads annually…and the millions more who are injured — not just drivers, but all road users," Homendy said. “No matter their race, ethnicity, ability, income, or where they live. No matter whether they’re walking, biking, rolling, or driving. That is who the NTSB is fighting for; who we’re all fighting for.”
The TRB’s 2023 annual meeting is being held this week in Washington.
NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy delivering the keynote Wednesday at the Transportation Research Board's 2023 Annual Meeting. (NTSB photo by Leah Walton)
“We need your research to inform new policies, new systems, new regulations, new laws — especially when we have so much advancement in new technology," Homendy told attendees. “But we also need something else — something less tangible. We need to be fearless: unafraid to open our hearts to the preventable pain of transportation disasters and to fearlessly pursue solutions.”
Homendy also questioned the safety impact of electric vehicles on our nation’s roads.
“I’m concerned about the increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier curb weights and increasing size, power, and performance of vehicles on our roads, including electric vehicles,” Homendy said.
“A GMC Hummer EV weighs over 9,000 pounds, up from about 6,000 pounds. Its gross vehicle weight rating is a staggering 10,550 pounds. The battery pack alone weighs over 2,900 pounds — about the weight of a Honda Civic. The Ford F-150 Lightning is between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds heavier than the non-electric version. The Mustang Mach-E, Volvo XC40 EV, and RAV4 EV are all roughly 33% heavier. That has a significant impact on safety for all road users.”
“Now I want to be clear: I am inspired by the Administration’s commitment to phasing out carbon emissions. We do have a climate crisis that needs to be addressed. The U.S. transportation sector accounts for the largest portion of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and I firmly believe it is a human right to breathe clean air. But we have to be careful that we aren’t also creating unintended consequences: more death on our roads.”
To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).