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Coalition aims to eliminate traffic deaths by 2050

If the initiatives of the Road to Zero Coalition are successful, fatal traffic accidents in North Carolina will eventually be a thing of the past. The safety coalition, which is made up of 675 members, aims to bring the number of traffic-related deaths to zero by 2050. After several years of decline, the number of motor vehicle fatalities increased by 5.6 percent in 2016. Of the 37,461 fatalities, 4,317 were in traffic accidents that involved large trucks.

The coalition has identified several safety initiatives. About half of people who die in traffic accidents are not wearing seat belts, so the coalition hopes to increase seat belt compliance to 100 percent. The group also aims to encourage motorists to avoid actions such as speeding, distracted driving and driving under the influence.

Safety technology can play a significant role as well, and this may be particularly important when it comes to large trucks. According to one coalition member, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, side and rear underride guards may offer protection to smaller vehicles that crash into trucks. Furthermore, technology such as forward-collision warning and mitigation, blind spot detection and lane-departure warning systems could prevent or reduce the severity of 25 percent of large truck accidents.

Until these measures are completely successful, there will continue to be truck accidents involving other drivers and passengers. Even when these accidents are not fatal, they can result in serious injuries to others. An attorney might be able to assist an accident victim in obtaining compensation from an at-fault driver.

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