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03/23/22   |   By

Reverse the Deadly Public Health Crisis on Our Roads

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of traffic deaths in 2018, 66% were vehicle occupants, 17% were pedestrians,14% were motorcyclists and the remaining three percent were cyclists, nonoccupants, and unknown occupants. We know that the roadways are dangerous not only for drivers, but for pedestrians, cyclists, and all other road users.

As a result, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a plea to enact a safe system approach for vulnerable road users.

Learn more about the safe system approach and what it means for car accidents across the United States.

What Is the Safe System Approach?

In a press release issued by the NTSB on January 27, Chair Jennifer Homendy announced The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Roadway Safety Strategy which aims for a zero roadway fatality goal.

“Swift action by federal regulators, state and local authorities, and all stakeholders must immediately follow if we are to reverse the deadly public health crisis on our roads,” she said.

But what would this entail?

The Safe System approach would work to minimize and ideally diminish roadway harms that lead to fatalities amongst vulnerable road users (VRUs)— pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycle users, and children who utilize U.S. roadways.

Under the proposal, the Safe System would target all aspects of roadway safety including:

  • Road users
  • Vehicle designs
  • Speeds
  • Road conditions
  • Post-crash care
  • Collision-avoidance systems
  • Education

By targeting vulnerable road users, who are not protected by exterior structures in the case of a motor vehicle accident like automobile drivers, the NTSB hopes to minimize the dangers to this highly impacted demographic.

How Does the NTSB Plan to Protect Vulnerable Road Users?

The NTSB has released a list of safety recommendations that are available online for public review.

Harms to Motorcyclists in Car Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Catastrophic Injury InsuranceAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes in 2019. Because of the complexity of motorcycle crashes, the NTSB has called for safety recommendations.

  • Safety Recommendation H-18-029 requests that motorcycles be included in the development of vehicle crash warning and prevention systems.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-030 asks for motorcycles to be included in the development of performance standards for connected vehicle-to-vehicle systems.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-032 requests that all new motorcycles manufactured for on-road use in the United States be equipped with antilock braking system technology.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-033 requests research into the effectiveness of stability control systems for motorcycles.

Safety for Cyclists

bike pathAccording to the NTSB, in 2017, 806 bicyclists died in crashes with motor vehicles. The following are some of the safety recommendations for bicycle users.

  • Safety Recommendation H-19-035 works to expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts. The goal is to ensure that bicyclists will be incorporated into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems to receive communication on warnings such as traffic, road conditions, weather, and speed traps.
  • Safety Recommendation H-19-036 calls for a New Car Assessment Program to evaluate a car’s ability to avoid crashes with bicycles.
  • Safety Recommendation H-19-038 asks for the calling of a bicycle safety coalition to develop a national strategy to increase bicycle helmet use among bicyclists of all ages, including an all-ages bicycle helmet law.
  • Safety Recommendation H-19-041 calls for separated bike lanes and intersection safety treatments.
  • Safety Recommendation H-19-044 calls for an evaluation of bicycle conspicuity and potential improvements by modifying the requirements under federal law.

Improving Safety Conditions for Pedestrians

parent and child holding hands crossing pedestrian crosswalkAccording to The Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,721 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2020. As a result of this increase in deaths, the NTSB has called for modifications and regulations to roadways and vehicles to protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

  • Safety Recommendation H-18-041 requests the development of performance test criteria for vehicle designs to reduce injuries to pedestrians.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-042 calls for review of criteria for manufacturers of automated pedestrian safety systems to prevent or minimize pedestrian injury.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-043 requests the inclusion of pedestrian safety systems, including pedestrian collision avoidance systems into the New Car Assessment Program by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Safety Recommendation H-18-044 calls for the development of a detailed pedestrian crash data set to represent a complete range of crash types to be used by local and state analysis.

Conditions to Be Met for Automobile Drivers, Manufacturers

In addition to the safety recommendations for vulnerable road users, NTSB also calls for safety guidelines for car and motor vehicle operators. Below is one of the recommendations made by NTSB and federal agencies and departments.

  • Safety Recommendation H-18-039 calls for a revision of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 to include performance-based standards for vehicle headlight systems to be aimed at the road and tested on-vehicle for headlight height and lighting performance.

Roadways and Treatment Recommendations

The NTSB has also called for more safety guidelines for the speed limits across the United States as speeding accounts for one-third of all car accident causes. Such guidance that has been proposed includes making alterations to traffic control studies, as well as reviewing visibility regulations for larger, commercial vehicles.

Why Was There a Call for a Safety System on Roadways?

As a result of rising traffic fatalities across the United States, The Department of Transportation and The National Transportation Safety Board called for these safety recommendations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having more people staying at home, traffic fatalities were at an all-time high in 2020, with 38,680 people dying in motor vehicle crashes.

These recommendations and more are found in a bipartisan infrastructure law (PL 117-58), all aimed at the goals of safer driving, safer roads, safer vehicles, reducing speed limits, and improving care at crash sites.

While no changes in the law have been made yet, the Safety System approach will call for $13 billion in spending to incorporate these goals, and ultimately save lives.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call Regan Zambri Long

Safety System approachWhile these safety regulations will be a welcomed sigh of relief for many of us utilizing U.S. roadways, we still must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and loved ones when car accidents occur.

With over 100 years of experience as a top car accident lawyer in the DC Metro area, Regan Zambri Long can assist you with the claims process after your car accident, negotiate with the insurance companies, and represent you in court.

Our attorneys will look at the common causes of car collisions and help calculate the total value of your claim. From there, we can take the reins while you focus on recovery. Further, we will work diligently to secure the highest settlement possible to compensate for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

In the case of wrongful death, we will help you navigate the statute of limitations and secure compensation for:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of financial support including wages and benefits
  • Loss of consortium

We know that car accidents not only take you off the road, but they can also completely derail your career, your goals, and your livelihood.

For a no-obligation, free consultation with the VA, MD, DC car accident lawyers of Regan Zambri Long, call us at 202-960-4596 or connect with us online. Our car collision attorneys have the skill and expertise to guide you through this difficult time with the compassion and understanding necessary to earn your trust.

Don’t delay and call Regan Zambri Long.

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