In 2015 we experienced the greatest increase in traffic deaths in the United States since 1966, and according to the preliminary data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of traffic fatalities is up again for the first half of 2016. The numbers reveal that deaths on U.S. increased by 10.4% in the first six months of 2016 when you compare it to the same time period in the previous year. These are preliminary numbers which will be revised when the final numbers for 2016 are in next year, but NHTSA estimates that about 17,775 people were killed in traffic crashes in the first six months of 2016, as compared to the 16,100 fatalities reported for the same time period in 2015.
A story in the Wall Street Journal points to the fact that in the U.S. we are experiencing a long stretch of lower gas prices and employment gains which leads to more people driving, increasing traffic and higher risks of fatal crashes. The Administrators at the NHTSA admit that we are facing an incredible crisis and that federal safety officials have a long-term challenge to reduce and ultimately eliminate traffic deaths.
Road to Zero traffic deaths in 30 years
With such an alarming uptick in traffic fatalities the NHTSA, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) have formed an alliance to launch the “Road to Zero” coalition with the mission to end traffic fatalities in the next 30 years. This ambitious undertaking will focus on promoting behavior changes such as increasing seat belt use, installing rumble strips, taking on drunk and distracted driving and other hazardous driving behaviors. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “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 organizations and government at all levels.” The focus of the program is for federal and private sector safety experts to come together and develop a solution that will bring about a day when traffic fatalities have become a thing of the past.
Because so many auto accidents are caused by human error, safety officials are looking to the new technologies in the development of automated and autonomous vehicles for help as well. With the rollout of the NHTSA’s new regulations governing the design, development and testing of new technologies for motor vehicles, the goal is to avoid replacing human mistakes with errors made by machines.
Motor vehicle safety is everyone’s concern. In order to eliminate traffic crashes in 30 years, every driver must be willing to embrace their responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe manner that respects the rights of the other drivers with whom they share the road.
If you or a family member was injured in an Oklahoma auto accident, you may have questions about what kind of compensation is available. The experienced Oklahoma auto accident attorneys at Stipe Law Firm can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation in our McAlester office today, or call (918) 505-7741 for more information.