An initiative is underway with the ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities within 30 years. The plan will address a number of different factors that impact traffic safety, including roadway design, speed enforcement and vehicle technology. The joint initiative involves a number of national organizations committed to making the roads safer for drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the initiative on October 5, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Safety Council. The organizations have launched the Road to Zero coalition, which will aim to bring fatalities on the nation’s roadways to zero by 2046.
To jump start the initiative, the National Department of Transportation has committed $1 million dollars every year for the next three years to fund lifesaving programs for this goal.
The announcement comes during an uptick in traffic fatalities that have been noted in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015, the U.S. saw the largest increase in motor vehicle fatalities in 50 years. According to the National Safety Council, 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads during 2015 and another 4.4 million were seriously injured. The rise appears to be continuing in 2016, with a 10.4 increase in fatalities during the first half of the year over the first six months in 2015.
“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” Mark Rosekind, administrator of the NHTSA stated in a press release on the organization’s website. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal.”
New initiative focuses on “4Es”
The new initiative is banking on advanced technology and the introduction of automated vehicles to the nation’s roadways. The plan will focus on the “4Es,” which are education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical services. Education will include behavior change campaigns, while improved technology will focus on ensuring human error in the operation of vehicles does not result in fatalities. Improvements in commercial truck safety will also be addressed in the technology improvements.
Engineering efforts will include key changes to roadway design, such as installing rumble strips in key areas of the roads. Rumble strips provide vibration and sound outside the road markers, alerting drivers immediately when they stray out of their lane. In addition to reducing speeds, enforcement will focus on consistent seatbelt use that has been shown to reduce fatalities and serious injuries.
Eisbrouch Marsh: NJ car accident attorneys
While Eisbrouch Marsh applauds efforts to reduce the number of fatalities and serious traffic injuries on the nation’s roadways, we also understand that motorists continue to face risks every time they get behind the wheel of their vehicle. Victims of these accidents may face life-changing injuries that affect their ability to work and perform other daily tasks. When the unthinkable occurs, family members may have to face the loss of a loved one taken too soon as the result of a serious motor vehicle crash.
Fortunately, the law affords remedies for victims of negligent or distracted drivers. A successful personal injury lawsuit can seek damages for all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and emotional suffering as well as other losses. Legal compensation can help accident victims get back on their feet and reclaim their lives.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, New Partnership Aims to End Traffic Fatalities within the Next 30 Years, http://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/ci.nhtsa_zero_deaths_coalition_10052016.print
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318
- National Public Radio, 2015 Traffic Fatalities Rose by Largest Percent in 50 Years, Safety Group Says, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/18/467230965/2015-traffic-fatalities-rose-by-largest-percent-in-50-years-safety-group-says