Traffic deaths including deaths of drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists are expected to reach an all-time high for the year 2022. Although data for all of 2022 is not yet available, more than 9,500 people were killed in the first three months of the year—the highest number of first quarter fatalities in 20 years.
What is the cause?
Distracted driving including being on cell phones may be one reason for the increase. Another is due to lack of or improper infrastructure. A common critique from experts is that the U.S. roadways are too wide. Research from the World Resources Institute suggests that smaller block sizes, narrower streets, and frequent street connections may bring down crashes and overall fatalities involving vehicles. Adding elements like proper signs, speed bumps, curb extensions and raised pedestrian crossings may also reduce traffic deaths.
What is being done to fix this?
The Biden Administration unveiled a “National Roadway Safety Strategy” with the goal to end roadway fatalities entirely. The plan is arranged around five objectives:
- Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible driving and behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
- Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most vulnerable users.
- Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
- Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, equitable, context-appropriate roadway design, appropriate speed-limit setting, targeted education, outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
- Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.
The Department of Transportation has already began implementing the Biden Plan through departmental actions.
Consult with a law firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, a Harris Powers & Cunningham attorney be able to help.