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Feds seeking to reduce traffic deaths to zero

West Virginia motorists who are concerned about the increasing number of fatalities on the nation's roadways as reported through June 2016 may be interested in knowing about the Obama administration's goal to completely eliminate traffic deaths and injuries in this country within the next 30 years. Named Vision Zero in 1997 when it first surfaced in Sweden, the zero deaths idea had since spread elsewhere and had been previously adopted in several U.S. cities before the Transportation Department laid out its plan for the nation on Oct. 5.

The promotion of traditional safety efforts such as the installation of rumble strips, the increased use of seat belts and the development of campaigns that are intended to discourage intoxicated and distracted driving is a key element of the department's plan. The department did acknowledge in a statement, however, that it is the advent of self-driving cars in addition to other advanced safety-related technologies that could make it possible for the goal of zero deaths in the U.S. to soon become a reality.

With the bar set at the highest possible standard, comments made by the Transportation Secretary indicate that everyone involved must begin to think differently about safety in order for the zero deaths plan to ultimately prove to be successful. This includes government at all levels, safety organizations, industry members and motorists who get behind the wheel.

The widespread use of fully autonomous vehicles could potentially eliminate traffic-related injuries and death, as human errors are said to be the cause of more than 90 percent of all traffic accidents. This includes drivers who are impaired or distracted, and a person who has been injured in such an accident may want to have legal assistance in pursuing compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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