In early September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released preliminary estimates for the number of fatalities due to road accidents for the first six months of 2022. Tragically, results show the death toll rose from 20,070 in 2021 to 20,175 in 2022.
However, the NHTSA projection for the second quarter of 2022 is optimistically predicting a decline in fatalities for the first time after seven consecutive quarters since the third quarter of 2020.
A Decline But Still A Danger
To further reduce road deaths, the Transportation Secretary announced the National Roadway Safety Strategy in January 2022. This strategy comprehensively outlines the Department of Transportation’s approach to reducing traffic accidents on our nation’s roads. The core of this approach is the unprecedented funding from the Biden administration, which aims to cover the ambitious plans of the Department of Transportation for zero fatalities on the street.
Ann Carlson, the NHTSA’s Acting Administrator, pleads for all stakeholders and involved parties to take sweeping action alongside the Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the National Roadway Safety Strategy.
Traffic Deaths Are Preventable
According to politicians and urban planners, infrastructure and road design are primarily to blame for road accidents. The current infrastructure in many places around the country is designed to accommodate the drivers’ needs, not those of pedestrians. This allows drivers to go faster, while pedestrians struggle to find a place to walk or ride their bikes.
A further contributing factor is the use of smartphones while driving. Being behind the wheel means we need to be alert, so naturally if our mind is occupied elsewhere, accidents can occur.
If we look at traffic accidents from a statistical global perspective, the burden falls on infrastructure in a striking majority of cases. This does not, by any means, imply that we should stop driving. Instead, we need to stay vigilant and demand state action that is decisive and immediate. More loss of lives means state and federal governments are not paying the necessary attention to the problem.
What Has Been Done So Far?
It is very easy to wonder what has been done so far to reduce road accidents.
The Department of Transportation has already taken some preventative measures under the umbrella of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, such as the following:
- In May 2022, the Federal Highway Administration issued guidelines to encourage state governments to develop complete streets under the auspices of the Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.
- Some months earlier, the NHTSA requested the addition of four more advanced driving system features, such as blind spot detection, blind spot intervention, lane assistance, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.
- During the summer, the NHTSA issued guidelines for trailers and semitrailers.
The NHTSA has also requested more data about crashes that can be used by companies to improve their driving assistant programs.
Contact Napoli Shkolnik LLC
Although none of us should feel intimidated by driving or walking down the street, it is still important that we internalize safe driving habits. That said, we cannot control how other people drive, and even if we can guarantee for ourselves that we are paying the proper attention, we may be involved in an accident.
Hopefully, this should never happen to you or someone close to you, but if this is the case, you need to consider taking legal action and requesting compensation. Contact Napoli Shkolnik for further information and consult with our team of lawyers, starting today.