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If the efforts of the Road to Zero Coalition are successful, Missouri drivers can look forward to safer roads in the future. With deaths from motor vehicle accidents reaching 37,461 in 2016, fatalities are on the rise after declining for several years. The coalition aims to bring the number of traffic deaths down to zero by 2050.

The coalition, which is made of 675 members, will focus on several different areas for safety improvement. One goal is to increase the use of safety technology in vehicles. Access to trauma centers for people who are injured in accidents in rural areas is also important. Of the people who die in motor vehicle accidents, 43 percent are still alive at the scene. However, it can take over an hour from some locations to get victims to a Level 1 or 2 trauma center. The coalition also emphasizes seat belt initiatives and a cultural shift toward safety over activities such as driving while distracted or speeding.

In 2016, 4,317 people died in crashes involving large trucks. Several technologies have been identified as reducing the severity or likelihood of truck crashes. One coalition member, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, says that forward-collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and stability would significantly improve safety if used in all trucks.

Even if all of the coalition’s recommendations are adopted, it will still be some time before fatal accidents are completely eliminated. A family that has lost a loved one in a fatal car or truck accident may be entitled to damages. Legal counsel could help the family file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties.