Motor vehicle accidents continue to grow in numbers combined with the countless deaths that occur every day. While distracted, reckless, and drunk drivers cause many crashes, even more are caused by roads, highways, and freeways that are poorly maintained, antiquated, or lacking current safety features due to neglect.
Even though people sheltering at home stayed off the roads in record numbers, 2020 still saw fatal collisions increase by 5 percent nationwide.
The danger outdated roads present on a nationwide basis
The most minuscule of changes or upgrades could have prevented those tragic losses. The addition of medians, pedestrian islands, and rumble strips, and other “luxuries” not afforded to far too many roads throughout the country.
Practically all states, including California, are looking at President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill – legislation that is uncharacteristically being scaled back – and not seeing enough to improve road safety throughout the United States. While they are asking for additional funding, policy changes must be part of it as well.
Details to date are scant, but estimates for road safety programs are at $20 billion with proposed breakdowns that include:
- Eight billion dollars for states that adds money to an ongoing federal highway safety program to implement physical improvements, including the construction of roundabouts, improvements to roads, and ending high-risk railroad crossings
- One billion would be allotted to a safe driving behavior program that will focus on education and enforcement.
- The remaining funds would be provided to state and local projects to reduce collisions and deaths, focusing on pedestrians and bicyclists.
While billions of dollars can help reduce deaths and increase safety, serious and fatal traffic accidents will continue to occur as long as motor vehicle operators drive recklessly. In those cases, the help of a personal injury attorney can hold the negligent driver accountable.