In our last blog post, we discussed some of the recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had made in its recently released Most Wanted List (MWL). The list is an annual report the agency puts together that addresses the most critical transportation safety issues and recommendations of what should be done to prevent injuries and death on the nation’s roadways. The prior post examined the agency’s focus on distracted driving and drunk driving accidents. In this post, we will take a look at the report’s recommendation for speeding crashes, vulnerable road users, and crash-avoidance technology.
Almost 10,000 people are killed each year in the U.S. in vehicle accidents caused by a speeding driver. According to the NTSB’s report, the number of victims is likely even higher than that because there is an inconsistency in how speed-related accidents are reported.
These crashes are usually more catastrophic than other types of accidents because of the force of impact the speeding vehicle hits the other vehicle or pedestrian at, so even if victims do survive, they are often left with serious to severe impairments.
The report recommends that in order to decrease these numbers, states need to amend current laws to authorize automated speed enforcement. There should also be speed limiters installed on carrier vehicles, such as buses, motor coaches, and large commercial trucks.
Vulnerable Road Users
The NTSB classifies pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists as vulnerable road users. According to the report, more than 12,000 vulnerable road users are killed each year in vehicle accidents. These numbers continue to rise – at approximately five percent over the past 10 years.
In its analysis, the NTSB concludes that one of the main reasons why these numbers are so high is that roads are designed for motor vehicles and not for those who are in the vulnerable road user category.
Another major cause is the lack of protection vulnerable users have compared to vehicle occupants when an incident does occur. In fact, they have no protection. This is why many pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents end in severe injury or death for the victims.
The report recommends that all cities and towns implement a Safe System approach to traffic safety and should include every factor of traffic safety, including traffic safety laws, road treatments, education, and vehicle design. These systems need to include all road users – vulnerable and vehicle, roads, speeds, and after-crash care.
Given the number of accidents that are a result of human error and distracted driving, the report cites the drastic need for requiring collision avoidance and connected-vehicle technology in all vehicles. Examples of the technology discussed in this section include automatic braking and forward collision warning.
The report stresses that consumers need to be educated on the availability of these systems and the government needs to do more to make these systems requirements in new vehicles, not just an option that the consumer pays extra for.
Contact Our Office Today
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, there is always the risk of a speeding driver crashing into us. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
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