Plan aims for no traffic deaths, injuries within 30 years

On Oct. 5, the Obama administration announced the first steps in a plan designed to make roads safer for drivers in Maryland and throughout the United States. As part of the new initiative, the U.S. Department of Transportation will emphasize seat belt safety and the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. The ultimate goal is to have zero injuries or fatalities from traffic accidents within 30 years.

Safety technology and fully autonomous vehicles are expected to play a major role in increasingly road safety. Since experts cite human error as an issue in 94 percent of traffic accidents, eliminating this element with self-driving cars should lead to a significant drop in injuries and fatalities. The Transportation Secretary said that in order to lower traffic deaths, it will also be necessary for drivers, industry experts and government agencies to think about safety differently.

The push for safer roads is occurring as statistics show traffic fatalities to be on the rise. In 2015, they jumped 7.2 percent. Estimates for January to June of 2016 show another increase of 9 percent.

Among the human factors that cause car accidents are drowsiness, distraction, fatigue, speeding and the use of drugs and alcohol. When another driver is responsible for an accident that results in serious injuries, the injured driver might expect compensation from insurance. However, the at-fault driver may be uninsured, or the insurance company might simply offer too little to cover medical care and lost wages. That's why some victims may decide to file a civil lawsuit. An attorney could help the injured victim through this process.

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