The number of road users killed in the U.S. has risen alarmingly in recent years, and a coalition of federal agencies and road safety advocacy groups has been organized by the National Safety Council to combat the problem. The Road to Zero Coalition has set itself the lofty goal of completely eliminating motor vehicle accident by 2050, and some experts feel that the advent of autonomous vehicle technology in Mississippi and around the country could help the coalition to achieve this goal.
The Road to Zero Coalition, which is supported by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, provided a blueprint for reducing road deaths in a report released on April 22. The coalition advocates for tougher seat belt laws and lower speed limits, and it has urged the nation’s law enforcement agencies to enforce these laws vigorously. The group also supports public awareness campaigns that promote road safety.
However, few road safety advocates believe that car crash fatalities in the United States can be reduced to zero in the foreseeable future unless autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous. Most technology experts expect this to happen as semi-autonomous safety systems are already available and manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla have vowed to bring a fully autonomous car to the market within five years.
Automotive technology that is designed to save lives on the road also records data that may be used by attorneys to establish liability in car accident lawsuits. The defendants in these cases often claim that they were obeying all traffic laws and did everything that they could to avoid crashing, but this testimony may be belied by electronic data recovered from black box-type devices in their vehicles.