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Reducing traffic fatalities to zero is the plan

On Oct. 5, U.S. Department of Transportation officials laid out a plan that could ultimately set the bar for safety on roadways in North Carolina and elsewhere across the country to the highest possible standard. The department's statement was released in connection with the Obama administration's goal of eliminating all vehicle-related injuries and deaths in this nation within the next three decades.

The proposed plan is an adaptation of Vision Zero, a zero-deaths plan that first surfaced in Sweden in 1997. Prior to the release of media reports concerning a national focus on the plan, at least 18 cities in the U.S. had already adopted its tenets.

In order for the plan to work on a national scale, however, the agency acknowledges that everyone from motorists to industry insiders and safety organizations to all levels of government must commit to a different way of thinking about safety. The promotion of the zero-deaths idea appears to be coming at a critical time as early estimates for the first six months of 2016 show that the number of fatalities in this nation is up 9 percent over the same period during the previous year.

Authorities note that rapid assimilation of autonomous cars could make the zero-deaths goal a reality because these vehicles hold the potential to eliminate the human error that is a factor in the overwhelming majority of car accidents. Until serious crashes have become a thing of the past, people who are injured in an accident due to the negligence of another motorist may want to meet with an attorney to see what options they have for pursuing compensation for their losses.

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