Eliminating all traffic fatalities may seem like an impossible goal to some California residents. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation has set a goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities within the next 30 years. On Oct. 5, DOT officials announced the department's goal and explained its plan for reaching it.
The DOT believes that zero traffic fatalities could be a possibility with new technologies like self-driving cars. Because human error contributes to 94 percent of car accidents, autonomous technologies may eliminate a majority of fatal car crashes. Promoting seat belt use and encouraging drivers to refrain from impaired driving are other ways that the DOT plans to help lower the number of annual traffic deaths.
There was a 7.2 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2015 over the prior year, and there could be another increase in traffic fatalities in 2016. According to data from the first half of 2016, traffic fatalities increased by 9 percent compared to the same period of time last year. The rising numbers of traffic fatalities in recent years was part of the reason the DOT adopted its zero traffic death goal. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that setting an ambitious goal like zero traffic deaths requires everyone to think differently about traffic safety.
A lot of the human error that leads to serious motor vehicle accidents constitutes negligence. A person who has been injured in a collision caused by a driver who was impaired, distracted or speeding may want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.