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Will new safety coalition save lives on the road? Only time will tell.

According to Anthony Foxx, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, more than 35,000 people were killed in 2015 because of auto accidents. This statistic reflects a substantial surge in the number of deaths from 2014.

In an effort to prevent the occurrence of fatal vehicle accidents in the United States for the next 30 years, three agencies within the DOT have collaborated with the National Safety Council to create the Road to Zero Coalition.

What is the Road to Zero Coalition?

The primary goal of the Road to Zero Coalition is to reduce the number of vehicle accident-related fatalities to zero and to do so by developing effective solutions for road safety. The coalition plans to allocate $3 million worth of grants over the next three years to various organizations that are creating programs that can save lives on the road.

The four agencies, which include the Federal Highway Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier and the National Safety Council, will start their mission by focusing on promoting specific behaviors and strategies that have been proven to save lives on the road. This includes emphasizing the importance of using seat belts and safe truck driving habits.

Other factors that can contribute to road safety, such as street design, the installation of rumble strips, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement, will also be highlighted. The alliance will then concentrate its efforts on the creation of an innovative way of eliminating vehicle accident deaths using processes based on collected data and methodical approach to removing risks.

The role of self-driving vehicles

One of the more significant elements of the agencies' push for safe roads is the development of autonomous vehicle technologies as a way to counteract the mistakes made by drivers. The coalition members believe that by aggressively integrating the self-operating technology into how road infrastructures are designed, the enforcement of driving laws, vehicle design and construction as well as human behavior, the number of deaths on the road can be drastically reduced and eventually completely eliminated in within the next three decades.

When to contact an attorney

Multiple factors can contribute a fatal motor vehicle accident. The surviving family members of the deceased victims may seek legal representation to pursue damages for emotional suffering and any loss of income due to the death of their loved ones. A personal injury attorney may help determine of who or what was at fault by thoroughly interviewing witnesses and evaluating reports completed by law enforcement personnel. The negligent parties may be held liable in civil court and compelled to make financial restitution.

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