A car accident can happen at any time. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash that leaves people seriously injured – or killed. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), U.S. traffic fatalities for 2021 exceeded 40,000 deaths, the highest total in more than ten years. Many others sustained serious, life-changing injuries.
Last month, the GHSA released a report outlining the approach they will take to help make roads safer. The report, titled “Putting the Pieces Together: Addressing the Role of Behavioral Safety in the Safe System Approach,” argues that reducing traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on highways will require a comprehensive solution.
The GHSA’s “Safe System Approach” involves infrastructure improvements, road design changes, equitable enforcement of traffic laws, education and public outreach, and emergency response.
A goal to eliminate fatal and serious crashes
The Safe System framework includes five elements – or “layers” – that state highway offices can focus on:
- Safe Road Users – States can provide further education about dangerous driving behaviors such as driving impaired, distracted driving and drowsy driving. They can also focus on more equitable enforcement of the law to catch drivers engaging in dangerous behaviors.
- Safe Vehicles – This involves reducing injuries and death by educating drivers about restraint use, vehicle safety recalls and vehicle safety technologies.
- Safe Speeds – States can take further steps to enforce speed limits, identify problem areas and take steps to develop speed management programs.
- Safe Roads – This involves providing support for enforcement and engineering, encouraging the completion of road safety audits and educating the public about road safety features such as roundabouts, Rapid Flashing Beacons/HAWK signals and bike boxes.
- Post-Crash Care – This involves investing in National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) reporting for underserved areas.
Many of these layers overlap. That’s intentional. The Safe System approach is based on the idea that if one layer fails, the others will “provide a protective effect and lessen the likelihood of a serious or fatal injury in the event of a crash.”
This year, the U.S. Department of Transportation plans to release a National Roadway Safety Strategy that uses the Safe System approach.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help
A car crash can disrupt your life in seconds. Suddenly, you can sustain a serious injury. You might have to be rushed to a hospital. There, doctors might have to perform emergency surgery and other medical procedures. And that might be just the start. You might need imaging tests, follow-up surgery, medication, physical therapy and multiple follow-up appointments with doctors. You might not be able to work because of your injuries. Suddenly, less money might be coming in. And bills can add up fast.
If you were hit by a negligent driver, you deserve financial compensation. Whether they were speeding, texting, driving under the influence or falling asleep at the wheel, reckless drivers need to be held accountable for their actions. But that can get complicated.
Negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong. They may even blame you for what happened. Insurance companies may question the seriousness of your injuries or argue that they were pre-existing medical conditions. Other times, they may offer you a settlement that falls far short of covering the damages you suffered.
That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. At Zbinden & Curtis, our attorneys know how to build strong cases and fight back against insurance company attempts to pay you less. We are determined to help you recover maximum compensation.
If you’ve been injured in Portland, contact us to schedule a free consultation.