Government plans to eliminate traffic fatalities

Pennsylvania motorists may be seeing more safety information around seat belt use and the dangers of driving while drinking or distracted from an initiative announced by the Obama administration. On Oct. 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled these steps as part of a new overall plan to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic accidents to zero within thirty years. The proposal is based on a plan, Vision Zero, that was first introduced in Sweden in 1997 that has since spread.

Experts predict that fully autonomous vehicles will be a major factor in eliminating injuries and fatalities because human error plays a role in over 90 percent of motor vehicle accidents. The addition of increasing safety technology along with rethinking ideas about traffic safety altogether, as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called on drivers and others to do, is expected to all contribute toward this goal.

The initiative comes as fatalities are on the rise on U.S. roads. In the first half of 2016, preliminary estimates show a leap of 9 percent compared to the same period in the previous year while 2015 had a 7.2 percent increase over 2014.

Many car accidents occur because of negligent drivers. Actions such as texting and driving, driving while fatigued and driving under the influence may all result in crashes and catastrophic injuries. Medical expenses and other costs, such as the impact of lost income, can be high while compensation from insurance companies may be low. Injured victims might thus want to contact an attorney to discuss their options. If the attorney is unable to negotiate more compensation, it might be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.