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Transportation Department plans to reduce vehicle crashes

Deaths from motor vehicle accidents are on the rise throughout the country. In 2015, there was a traffic fatality increase of 7.2 percent compared to the previous year. Preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show another increase of 9 percent compared to the same period in 2015. This surge in fatalities has prompted the Department of Transportation to release a traffic safety plan that's designed to make the roads safer in Michigan and throughout the country.

The plan, which was released on Oct. 5, proposes the elimination of traffic injuries and fatalities within three decades. Sweden adopted a similar initiative, Vision Zero, in 1997, and since then, several others countries and cities have followed suit. The DOT plan relies heavily on the development of autonomous vehicles that can help eliminate crashes caused by human error.

However, with autonomous vehicles still in the testing stage, the U.S. Department of Transportation will initially be focusing on raising awareness about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving and increasing the use of seat belts and rumble strips. The U.S. Transportation Secretary said that reaching the zero-fatality goal will require collaboration between government agencies and drivers as well as industry and safety advocates.

Car accidents that happen as a result of texting and driving, reckless driving or for some other reason can be life changing. A victim may spend months or years recovering from an accident. Between medical fees and lost income, the long-term costs could be high. Therefore, the injured person might want to consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.

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