Road to Zero is a campaign by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. In 2015, more than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents, which was a considerable increase in traffic fatalities over the previous year. In fact, the rise in traffic deaths is what motivated a number of government agencies to take action.
According to a DOT article, a coalition of U.S. government agencies is counting down to zero and hopes to achieve zero traffic fatalities within 30 years.
The coalition of DOT, National Security Council (NSC), and other safety advocates describe a four-pronged approach to achieving the Road to Zero initiative’s goal:
Education. Education would focus on changing drivers’ behavior with a greater focus on safety. Education begins with understanding roadway rules, but in addition, drivers must be motivated to abide by the rules. Public service announcements, news media efforts along with public events such as fairs and local festivals can educate through displays and tables.
Engineering. Engineering applies to constructing safer roads with a focus on property signals and signs, but it also relates to the engineering of vehicles. Self-driving cars are the new hope of the future and automated driving ranges from partial to total automation. Today we already have vehicles where the driver is in control, but if the car comes too close to another car, the brakes automatically stop. Various companies like Google, Uber and Tesla have developed completely automated cars where the car drives itself and this represents the other extreme. Since human error is the greatest cause of car accidents, self-driving cars may eliminate the majority of traffic fatalities.
Enforcement. Targeting the enforcement of already existing road safety laws to address areas of the greatest violations can help make roads safer. For example, this may involve setting up DUI checkpoints, speed traps for areas where drivers often speed or stopping cars when people are not wearing seat belts.
Emergency Medical Services. Getting emergency medical services and trauma units to the scene of an accident as quickly as possible is vital for saving lives in accidents. In this case, cutting down the response time can make a life or death difference for an accident victim.
When Accidents Involve Traffic Fatalities or Serious Injuries, Seek Legal Help
It is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible if a family member is a victim of traffic fatality or is seriously injured. Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP brings more than 60 years of experience to every case we handle, and we can protect your rights.