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Can all fatal accidents be prevented? Safety group says yes.

According to the Department of Transportation, last year saw the highest increase in traffic-related fatalities since 1966. Unfortunately, the rates continue to rise. Early 2016 saw a surge of over 10% more traffic deaths than early 2015. It is clear the something had to be done in order to stop these preventable deaths.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that three of its agencies will be working with the National Safety Council with the shared goal of ending road fatalities. The initiative, aptly named Road to Zero Coalition, will be looking to make big changes over the next 30 years.

What will the coalition do?

It will begin by focusing on proven strategies, such as increasing seatbelt usage, adding more rumble strips, and enforcing truck safety. The coalition will then move on to developing evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to remove the risks of traffic death.

In an effort to move the initiative forward, the DOT will provide $1 million each year for three years for grants to organizations that are actively working on lifesaving programs.

With the growing emergence of self-driving cars and automated vehicle technology, it is widely thought that the rate of road fatalities will hit zero by the 30-year mark. The Road to Zero Coalition sees these advanced technologies as an important part of meeting its goal.

In order to support these efforts, the coalition will also focus on improving safety when it comes to:

  • System and infrastructure design
  • Behavior safety
  • Traffic enforcement

Humans make mistakes on the road that result in serious injuries or worse every day; the idea is to figure out how to prevent these mistakes from happening.

One thing is for certain - in order for the initiative to work, it will take the dedication of everyone involved - from those in the industry to those on the road.

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