In a move that may well set the bar for safety to the highest possible standard, the Obama administration has announced a goal of eliminating traffic-related injuries and deaths in Virginia and elsewhere across the country by the end of 2046. According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, accomplishing this goal within the stated 30-year time frame will demand a commitment to think differently about safety on America’s roadways from all concerned.
To that end, the Transportation Department plan that was laid out on Oct. 5 calls for an initial focus on ideas that may already be associated with increased safety, from campaigns against drunk and distracted driving to the use of seat belts and rumble strips. Officials also acknowledged that the rapid introduction of autonomous vehicles in conjunction with other advanced safety technologies could ultimately provide the key to achieving the zero deaths goal because most traffic accidents are believed to be caused by human error.
Although traffic deaths had been on the decline for years, 2015 saw an increase of more that 7 percent over the previous year. According to preliminary data released by the National Safety Council, the rate of increase has accelerated over the first six months of 2016 with the number of deaths now estimated to be 9 percent more than the number seen over the same period of time during the previous year.
While the administration’s goal is admirable, it is far in the future, and traffic accidents caused by distracted driving, driving while impaired and other forms of negligent behavior will continue to occur. People who have been injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation for their losses.