The U.S. government wants to eliminate all traffic fatalities in West Virginia and across the U.S. within the next 30 years, according to an initiative announced by the Department of Transportation on Oct. 5. The plan was created in response to a 7.2 percent increase in U.S. traffic deaths last year.
The DOT plan will initially focus on increasing seat belt use, the use of rumble strips and safety campaigns against impaired and distracted driving. The department also said the introduction of autonomous cars and other safety technologies makes the goal of zero deaths feasible. For example, self-driving cars could eliminate human error, which is a factor in 94 percent of crashes, from motor vehicle travel.
The DOT said the new initiative sets the safety bar to a high standard. The U.S. is not the first country to adopt a zero deaths policy. Sweden announced the Vision Zero plan in 2007, and several U.S. cities have adopted similar measures.
Thousands of Americans are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents each year. West Virginia residents who have been injured by a negligent driver may benefit by speaking to an attorney about their case. After gathering accident investigation reports, witness accounts and other evidence, legal counsel could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Likewise, families who have lost a loved one to a car accident may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. If the case is successful, the family could be awarded a financial settlement that covers funeral and burial costs, loss of income and other amounts.
Source: ABC News, "US Government Sets Goal of Zero Traffic Deaths in 30 Years," Joan Lowy, Oct. 5, 2016