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Government aims to eliminate traffic deaths

Even motorists with excellent safety practices and records face the risk of injury or death when driving on Pennsylvania roads. Statistics indicate that 94 percent of traffic accidents are related human error. However, technological strides in automated driving increase the potential for reducing or eliminating driver error and related incidents. The Obama administration has a goal of achieving a zero-traffic death benchmark within a 30-year period.

One of the reasons for this lofty goal is the fact that there was an increase of more than 7 percent in deaths related to car accidents during 2015 over the previous year. The statistics for the first half of 2016 suggest even worse results for the full year. There has been a 9 percent increase in driving-related deaths in comparison to statistics for the same period of 2015. While a goal of zero deaths may seem difficult to achieve, Sweden and several states in the U.S. have developed similar initiatives.

Self-driving vehicles could remove much of the potential for driver error, but there are other areas to consider in reducing auto-related deaths. Programming and manufacturing could be serious concerns as auto-pilot technologies are expanded. Manufacturing problems can result in serious accidents or even deaths before a defect is discovered. Additional factors that could still cause accidents include weather, poor road maintenance, or incorrect signage. A complete elimination of deaths in auto accidents would involve the need to evaluate and mitigate environmental issues that could negatively impact a vehicle's performance before releasing a model for use on public roads.

An individual dealing with serious injuries because of an auto accident might have difficulty focusing on legal or insurance issues while going through medical treatment. A lawyer could be helpful for reviewing accident details, facilitating an inspection of a vehicle, or speaking to insurance companies about settlement issues.

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