This year, the National Safety Council found that traffic deaths in 2015 rose by the largest percentage point increase in the past 50 years. With more than 38,000 people killed on America’s roads last year, 2015 was the deadliest driving year since 2008. Safety experts have attributed the rise in traffic fatalities to a number of factors, including low gas prices which have encouraged more people to travel during the summer. Now, in the wake of this startling revelation, the Obama administration has set an ambitious goal of completely eliminating traffic deaths and injuries in the United States within 30 years.
Since the announcement was made earlier this month, Transportation Department officials have outlined a plan to facilitate this goal that begins with public safety campaigns to promote the use of seatbelts and deter drunk and distracted driving. They also plan on implementing widespread highway safety features such as rumble strips which can alert drowsy drivers when they’re about to leave the road.
Following these initial public safety campaigns, the Transportation Department’s plan will rely primarily on the rapid deployment of self-driving cars. Because human error is a factor in 94 percent of car accidents, many transportation officials believe that investing heavily in autonomous vehicle technologies is the best way to achieve the zero-deaths goal.
The plan to eliminate traffic fatalities might be pretty bold, but it’s not the first of its kind. A similar plan was adopted in Sweden way back in 1997, and it has since caught on in a number of other countries and American cities as well. Today, the multinational initiative to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries is collectively known as Vision Zero.
Traffic accidents might one day be a thing of the past, but for now they still pose a very real threat to drivers. At Jim Medley & Associates, we’ve spent more than 25 years protecting the rights of drivers in Houston. Get your free case evaluation online, or give us a call today to learn more.