Coalition aims to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2050

The roads may be safer for California drivers in the years ahead if the initiatives of a group called the Road to Zero Coalition are successful. The safety coalition aims to eliminate all deaths in motor vehicle accidents by 2050.

In 2016, there were 37,461 traffic-related fatalities, and 4,317 of those fatalities were in accidents that involved large trucks. The coalition’s initiatives are expected to reduce trucking accidents along with other types of traffic accidents. Increasing the use of seat belts to 100 percent is one of those initiatives. Although seat belt usage is at 90 percent, half of the people who died in accidents were not wearing them. The coalition also wants to shift toward a culture that prizes safety and is less likely to engage in distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence.

Better safety technology is another of the coalition’s initiatives. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one of the members, has specifically looked at how technology can improve truck safety. Over 25 percent of all crashes could be either less severe or prevented altogether with the addition of lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection, stability and forward-collision warning installed on all trucks. The organization also supports low-tech solutions such as side and rear underride guards to protect people in other vehicles.

The size of trucks relative to the size of other vehicles can make trucking accidents particularly severe for other drivers and their passengers. A person could have catastrophic injuries following a trucking accident, and it might be weeks or months before the person can return to work. If the accident occurred because of the negligence of the driver or the trucking company, an attorney might be able to help the injured person obtain compensation. The injured person may want to file a lawsuit against the driver and the firm.