VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

U.S. seeks to reduce traffic deaths to zero

The federal government intends to reduce traffic fatalities and accident-related injuries in Florida and around the country to zero within 30 years. On Oct. 5, 2016, officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a plan to promote the use of current safety tools, safe driving education, and advances in driving technology to reach this target. Agency officials have admitted that to reach this goal, commitment will be required from everyone from drivers to the government.

The plan has been prompted by some sobering statistics. In 2015, deaths from traffic accidents rose by 7.2 percent from the previous year. According to a National Safety Council report, 2016 is proving even more deadly with a 9 percent increase in accident-related death in the first six months of the year over the same period in 2015.

Since human error factors into 94 percent of car crashes, the advent of self-driving cars is expected to be central to the government's plan. The DOT will also introduce campaigns encouraging more widespread use of seat belts and to better educate the public on the dangers of driving under the influence of intoxicants and while distracted. The plan is based on a similar one called Vision Zero put into place by the Swedish government in 1997. Several cities within the U.S. has already adopted a comparable one.

Traffic accidents are frequently caused by drivers who are speeding, distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent. An attorney could help an injured victim pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.

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