Road traffic accidents in Georgia and around the country claim tens of thousands of lives every year and leave millions with injuries. However, experts in the Obama administration believe that autonomous vehicle technology could help reduce these figures to zero within the next three decades. Officials from the Department of Transportation announced the bold 30-year goal on Oct. 5, and they then went on to explain how it could be achieved.
Initial efforts will feature public awareness campaigns focusing on subjects like seat belt use and drunk driving. However, officials believe that the rise in self-driving cars will make the 30-year goal achievable. Data from the agency reveals that human error plays a role in 94 percent of car accidents. Vehicles equipped with autonomous accident avoidance systems are already available, and Google has announced plans to release a driverless car within five years.
The DOT announcement comes in the wake of some sobering traffic accident statistics from the National Safety Council. Car crash fatalities surged by more than 7 percent in 2015 after years of steady decline, and figures for the first six months of 2016 show an even more alarming 9 percent year-on-year increase.
Eliminating traffic accident deaths and injuries would also provide a boost to the nation’s economy. The injuries suffered by auto accident victims are often debilitating and result in thousands of lost workdays every year. In addition to lost productivity, motor vehicle crashes force cash-strapped municipalities to allocate precious resources to law enforcement and emergency response. Accident victims may face uncertain futures when their injuries keep them out of the workforce for prolonged periods. In order to recover damages, crash victims may wish to consult with an attorney and consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.