The National Transportation Safety Board will be getting a new boss, as the current head has announced she'll be stepping down. Deborah Hersman had a controversial tenure as head of the NTSB, strongly criticizing efforts in automotive safety.

Hersman was a vocal opponent of talking and texting while driving, regardless of of whether it was through a hands-free system. She also spoke out critically of in-car distractions.

"We have got to dispel the myth of multitasking," Hersman said in early 2012, according to Automotive News. "We are still learning what the human brain can handle. What is the price of our desire to be mobile and connected at the same time?"

The NTSB was most recently seen on the pages of Autoblog back in May, when Hersman led a charge against drunk driving, promoting a lowering of the legal limit to a blood-alcohol content of 0.05, among other measures. She remained a strong opponent of impaired driving for her entire four-and-a-half-year term as the head of the NTSB.

Hersman is leaving the NTSB to take a position as the CEO of the National Safety Council.


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  • 16 Comments
      bakedpatato
      • 9 Months Ago
      She has a really odd way of speaking,pauses on random words a la G-Man from Half Life but I don't blame her for going, being head of the NTSB is a big job as everything from railroads to boats fall under its' purview
      Wetstuff
      • 9 Months Ago
      One of the few people Obama -had- that had a pair of balls. Jim
      Charles
      • 9 Months Ago
      So she is incapable of doing more than one thing at a time, and thet means no one else can either.
        rbnhd1144
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Charles
        You can mutlitask and be lucky for a period of time, then it all goes belly up as you hit the car infront of you. I got hit by a Talented Multitasker, Believe me its no fun. You people that drive and text should be taken of the roads, you are a danger to the rest of us that actually value our lives and are more interested in getting to our destination safely.
        VL00
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Charles
        Charles, you're a moron. You think you can do two things at once? Great, multiply 7 x 23 and 9 x 19 SIMULTANEOUSLY. Oh, you can't? That's right, you can't. Multitasking is a word that applies to COMPUTERS, not humans. Its been misused for years. A human performs task-switching, NOT multitasking.
        mycommentemail
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Charles
        Nobody can multitask. It is a well understood, documented fact. The best you can do is task-switch. If you do it rapidly enough, it starts to approximate multi-tasking. But it is still focusing on one thing at one time. Most people do it badly. When you are behind the wheel of a 3 ton SUV and do it badly, people might lose their lives.
      VL00
      • 9 Months Ago
      "We have got to dispel the myth of multitasking" She nailed that one. Multitasking is a term that ONLY applies to computers, a human can't process two things at the same time.
      Big Squid
      • 9 Months Ago
      WOW this article is written crappily. She was not a strong critic of auto safety efforts -- she was a strong proponent of them. People who text or gab on the phone are risking their own and others' lives and their claims that they can handle it are dangerous bull$h!t. Distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, and people are as addicted to their stupid phones as drunks are to alcohol. Downvote away, but remember that your families are out there on the road with all of those facebooking, texting-and-driving hipsters. Will one of them die in the next year?
        mycommentemail
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Big Squid
        Agreed. What a lousy title. You (and I) will get down voted here because, you know, freedom. But it doesn't make it any less true.
      Sir Duke
      • 9 Months Ago
      Ahoy Brandon, Is english your first language? Everything I've read, say she was a proponent for safety efforts, not a critic of. there is a difference, see below: pro·po·nent [pruh-poh-nuhnt] Show IPA noun 1. a person who puts forward a proposition or proposal. 2. a person who argues in favor of something; an advocate. 3. a personwho supports a cause or doctrine; adherent. 4. a person who propounds a legal instrument, such as a will for probate. ---------------------------------------------------- crit·ic [krit-ik] Show IPA noun 1. a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes: a poor critic of men. 2. a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for a newspaper or magazine. 3. a person who tends too readily to make captious, trivial, or harsh judgments; faultfinder. 4. Archaic. a. criticism. b. critique.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 9 Months Ago
      She is totally right. Accident rates have gone up this past 2 years, after falling for the last 30 years. In car entertainment must play a role there. Nobody wants to hear it because we all love our NAV/Apps/DVD units.
      Eggmania
      • 9 Months Ago
      i would get into a 10 car pileup with her!
      churchmotor
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is it about to come out that she was aware of GM hiding know defects while the government owned the stocks?
      • 9 Months Ago
      [blocked]
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