It’s been heartening to see a stronger emphasis on minimizing traffic accident fatalities, not just by auto safety organizations, but also by lawmakers. In recent weeks, a number of non-profit advocacy organizations have come together to support advocacy efforts as well as initiatives by lawmakers to minimize the number of Americans killed in traffic accidents.
Advocacy organizations like the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and Advocates for Highway and Highway Safety have spent months calling attention to the higher numbers of accident fatalities that occurred last year in spite of a 10% drop in the number of vehicle miles travelled. Those statistics indicate that we have a very serious problem with traffic safety in the United States. For one thing, too many U.S. cities are designed to make it easier to drive rather than walk or bike. Our transportation system, unfortunately, makes it easier to get from point A to point B using a car, as opposed to using mass transit or walking. Those are unacceptable realities, and simply add to the problem of our congested streets.
For our streets to be less congested and safer, we need to add bicycling and walking safely to the list of viable transport options. Safety advocates are calling for the installation of more dedicated and exclusive bicycle lanes in metropolitan areas, including the metro Atlanta region. Exclusive bike lanes are lanes that are meant solely for the use of bicyclists, and are separated from car lanes by a physical barrier that prevents them from coming into direct contact with cars. Experts at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute say that for bicycle lanes to be considered safe, they must be separated from car lanes by more than a slap of paint. Our roads need to be designed with the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. An overwhelming majority of metropolitan areas in the country are not designed to make it safer to bike or walk compared to drive.
Even as advocacy organizations and experts draw attention to the need to re-organize our transportation system to keep more people safe and prevent accident -related deaths, similar efforts are being made at the highest levels of government. In May, lawmakers introduced a resolution that calls for an end to traffic fatalities in the United States, and called upon the federal administration to focus on minimizing traffic accident fatalities to the minimum of zero by the year 2050. The resolution is endorsed by a number of advocacy organizations including the National Safety Council, the Vision Zero Network and Consumer Reports. Vision Zero Network calls for the elimination of road traffic deaths by taking steps to minimize the risk of fatal injuries in the most common types of preventable accidents. The Vision Zero mission promotes an enhanced design of our roads with a focus on safety and not speed as well as funding for improvements that promote working and bicycling in urban communities.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.