A major road safety organization is launching an ambitious plan to make the highways of New London, Connecticut and the rest of the nation safer. The goal is lofty but in the nation's best interest. Simply put, the organization seeks to bring the number of highway accident deaths to zero within 32 years.
The plan is called Road to Zero. It is based on the study of a major national think tank. It compares the plan to the Apollo moon landing program in terms of its ambitiousness. The analogy may be accurate in that there were more than 37,000 highway deaths in 2016, including more than 4,000 involving trucks. The council supporting the plan is drawing on the expertise of several NHSTA members, trucking industry experts and others.
Many would think the plan is based solely on technology, such as the emerging automated car technology. Rather, it highlights certain basic safety concerns. For example, 9 of 10 vehicle occupants use safety belts. But one-half of all fatalities involve unbelted occupants. The group hopes to turn the 90 percent figure utilizing seat belts into full compliance.
Another area the group hopes to improve is fatalities among the heavy trucks on the road and the recent problem with distracted driving. Making both truck and the highways where they operate are priorities in the report. Among the improvements in the trucking industry are making electronic warning systems and underride guards mandatory. Guards are designed to prevent a car from traveling under the truck in the event of a collision.
In a vehicle collision, a personal injury attorney may attempt to assess the exact cause of the accident. In some cases, the driver is at fault. In others, a faulty vehicle component or poor road design caused or contributed to the accident. Victims of a collision should never assume one certain action is a sole cause.