We all want our daily commute to be safe and uneventful. We want to reach our travel destinations without incident and at an affordable cost. But whether we'll be able to do that in the future is closely tied to how government manages your federal, state and local tax dollars... and where they spend.

That's why the National Transportation Safety Board identified a list of its Top 10 Transportation Challenges for 2013.

Six of the top 10 NTSB priorities focus on highway travel where most transportation fatalities occur, and the six include the number one killer on the list: substance-impaired driving.

According to NTSB, the new list of top advocacy priorities calls for ending distraction in all modes of travel. Distraction was the cause of multiple accidents investigated by the agency in recent years and its deadly effects continue to grow as a national safety threat.

"Transportation is safer than ever, but with 35,000 annual fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries, we can and must do better," said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman. "We're releasing the list now," she says, "so it is available to policymakers at the state and federal levels as well as industry groups as they craft their priorities for 2013.

"We want to highlight the results of our investigations and ensure that safety has a seat at the table when decisions are made," Hersman added.

The NTSB's 2013 Most Wanted List of transportation priorities includes:

1. Improve Safety of Airport Surface Operations
2. Preserve the Integrity of Transportation Infrastructure
3. Enhance Pipeline Safety
4. Implement Positive Train Control Systems
5. Eliminate Substance-Impaired Driving
6. Improve the Safety of Bus Operations
7. Eliminate Distraction in Transportation
8. Improve Fire Safety in Transportation
9. Improve General Aviation Safety
10. Mandate Motor Vehicle Collision Avoidance Technologies

It's a broad mix of concerns but hopefully NTSB's guiding priorities take root and public funds are spent wisely. It's not about 'the nanny state' taking care of us. Ultimately our safety depends a great deal on our own decisions and choices.