In theory, we are all riding on the road to zero. We just don’t know how we’ll get there or if we’ll ever arrive. The recently formed Road To Zero Coalition hopes to dramatically reduce the numbers of motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities. The coalition’s ultimate goal is to reduce fatalities to zero.
National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman recently told a trucking industry publication that “We lose over 100 people a day on our roadways, and we are not outraged by each one of those deaths.” She said that just as President Kennedy rallied the nation around the idea of a once unthinkable goal – putting Americans on the moon – the Road To Zero Coalition’s goal is similarly enormous and doable.
Hersman said, “It is like a moonshot getting to zero by 2050,” but that a “commitment of resources, leadership and new technology” can get the nation to the goal.
The coalition recently released a report authored by the Rand Corp. in which it outlined a three-prong approach to achieving its goal:
- Double down on what works through proven, evidence-based strategies (this includes renewed efforts to get everyone to buckle up)
- Advance life-saving technology in vehicles and infrastructure (this includes better driving assistance tech; and better access to trauma centers for those injured in crashes)
- Prioritize safety by adopting a safe systems approach and creating a positive safety culture (helping large trucks and cars share the roads safely)
Many experts feel that it’s time for a national traffic safety push. After years of declining traffic fatalities (1985 to 2011), the number of deaths has started to rise again. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, motor vehicle crash fatalities rose by 5.6 percent to 37,461.
Of that number, more than 4,300 were killed in wrecks involving large trucks – a 5.4 increase from 2015.
There are no bigger, more dangerous vehicles on North Carolina roads than tractor-trailers. If you or a loved one has been harmed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.