Senators Look to Advanced Technology, Funding to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to online sources, nearly 100 people across the US dies in a traffic related accident each day. Keeping our roads safe for everyone is a top priority for members of congress. 

According to a 2023 AAA study, nearly 94 percent of Americans drove at least occasionally in 2022, making our roads and highways busy places. But getting from point A to B safely is a concern in congress.  

“Everyday unfortunately more than 100 Americans lose their lives on the road,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D- MI). “If trends continue there will be more than 40,000 deaths this year and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries.” 

Looking at some of the most recent stats from the Department of Transportation, in 2022, states like Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania had about 1,100 to 1,200 traffic fatalities. Roughly half of them involved passenger cars. About a third were alcohol impaired driving and another third were speed related fatalities.  

“Since the pandemic, speeding, drunk driving and nonuse of safety belts account for the most of increase in traffic deaths,” said Jake Nelson, Director, Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research, AAA.  

Some Senators are calling these traffic deaths a national crisis. To prevent additional crashes, they are looking to use technology, like autonomous cars, to create safer roadways for everyone.  

“Unlike human drivers, autonomous vehicles do not get distracted, tired or impaired,” said Sen. Todd Young (R- IN). “They can react to hazards more quickly and make split second based on vast amounts of data no human can process.” 

While this is just one suggestion, they said public safety campaigns and technological innovations on their own are not enough.  

“We must also focus on improving our roadway infrastructure to improve safety,” said Sen. Young. “This includes maintaining road quality and improving federal funding, focused federal funding to leverage state, local and private funding for infrastructure projects that will vastly improve roadway safety.”