In late October, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shared what was termed as “a crisis” and “sobering” data on the estimated motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, which were up 18.4% over 2020. These numbers speak to an urgent need to address roadway collisions that are on track to take over 40,000 lives this year alone. The people who died are family members, friends, and loved ones to many more thousands of people. Something must be done.
On Monday November 15, President Biden signed into law H.R.3684, better known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It addresses our deteriorating roadways, struggling transit systems, and importantly introduces various safety measures designed to reduce motor vehicle crashes. The bill funds studies on safety measures and recommends standards be set for vehicle safety features.
More specifically, the bill directs funding towards the USDOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, a comprehensive strategy designed to address Safer People, Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, and Post-Crash Care. We at Nauto are particularly excited about Safer People improvements, like helping to reduce distracted driving and identifying drunk or impaired driving risks. We also see tremendous value in new standards for Safer Vehicles that take pedestrians and bicyclists into account, standards for forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist systems.
We congratulate the U.S. Congress and say thank you to Senator Markey (D-Mass) for championing the Stay Aware For Everyone (SAFE) Act and the $9 billion bipartisan infrastructure package that includes safety as a top priority. Now let’s get going. Already over one hundred lives have been lost to roadway collisions since signing the infrastructure bill yesterday.
Author bio: The Nauto Story Scout is always on the lookout for ways to help you improve driver safety, prevent collisions, and make our roads safer for all. The Story Scout learned many of its skills from the Nauto predictive AI, which is always on the lookout for risks and distractions to help your drivers stay safe.