Vision Zero and the fight to eliminate roadway fatalities

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Car Accident Injuries |

Wrongful deaths stemming from car crashes on the roads and intersections of West Virginia happen far too often. While there have been attempts made in the past to lower the number of fatalities on the road, none have been successful at completely curbing these fatalities. Overall, to eliminate these needless deaths, driver behavior must change.

The Vision Zero project

One such effort to eliminate wrongful death auto accidents is known as the Vision Zero project. Vision Zero began in Sweden and was adopted by the Swedish government in 1997. Many other European countries and American and Canadian cities have since adopted it. It involves redesigning roadways and works on principles such as:

  • lowering speed limits in areas with pedestrians
  • lowering contact points between pedestrians and vehicles
  • lowering frontal collisions between vehicles
  • lowering side collisions between vehicles
  • lowering roadside fatalities to zero

It has been some time since Vision Zero was implemented in different countries and cities, and it has had varying levels of success. In New York, it was implemented 10 years ago, and deaths have dropped by about 40% since that year, although the rates have fluctuated from year to year. Other cities that have tried to adopt Vision Zero, like Los Angeles, however, have seen increases.

The causes of roadway fatalities

It’s good to understand just why such roadside fatalities happen in the first place. Most happen for very specific reasons such as:

  • drunk driving
  • speeding
  • distracted driving
  • failure to wear safety belts
  • reckless driving
  • poor weather
  • driver fatigue
  • improper turning
  • car malfunction

Vision Zero is mostly concerned with redesigning roadways to lower traffic accidents. However, as you can see, most accidents are caused by driver behavior. Redesigning roadways will probably never lower fatalities to zero alone. Instead, driver behavior must also be changed. That will have to require more education and convincing normal people to deploy more safe and defensive driving techniques.