Federal Agencies Launch Road to Zero Coalition to End Traffic Fatalities
Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced a bold new initiative to put an end to fatal traffic accidents in America. Dubbed the Road to Zero Coalition, multiple federal agencies will work together in an effort to reduce the number of roadway deaths to zero.
The NHTSA’s announcement comes at a time when fatal car accidents are increasing at the highest rate in more than 30 years. In New Jersey, 562 people died in car, truck and pedestrian accidents in 2015. Sadly, fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey are up 9.4% in 2016 compared to last year. As of today, 487 people have died in accidents in New Jersey this year. Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving are partly to blame for the increase in traffic deaths, as well as an improving economy, which causes more cars and trucks to be on the roads.
The increase in traffic deaths is not limited to New Jersey. 2015 was the deadliest year on the nation’s roadway since 2008. For the first six months of 2016, traffic fatalities have increased by more than 10% compared to the same period last year. From January to June of 2016, 17,775 people died in traffic accidents on our nation’s roads and highways.
While the NHSTA’s goal of eliminating all traffic death is undoubtedly ambitious, many traffic safety experts believe that, with new advances in car and truck safety technology, we will eventually have roads and highways that are 100% safe.
According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox, “Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads. We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety – from drivers to industry, safety organization and government at all levels.”
“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” stated NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal. It is the only acceptable goal.”
“All this death and injury is avoidable,” Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez said. “We simply have to remain focused and not let up on this.”
Self-driving vehicles and other automated forms of driving technology are expected to play a large part in reducing highway fatalities to zero.
Several countries in Europe have announced similar initiatives to eliminate fatal accidents, including Sweden’s Vision Zero.
If you have lost a loved in a fatal car, truck, or pedestrian accident, contact Haddad Law to learn about your legal rights. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys can deal with insurance companies directly on your behalf and explain to you how the lawsuit process works. In New Jersey, there is a time limit in which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed, so it is important that get in touch with us as soon as you can.