Is Sweden’s Vision Zero Achievable on U.S. Roads?

Is Sweden’s Vision Zero Achievable on U.S. Roads?

In 2013, motor vehicle crashes claimed the lives of 32,719 individuals in the U.S. During the same year the number of people killed in road accidents in Sweden was 264. Sweden’s roads have become one of the safest roads on earth – with only three deaths out of every 100,000 Swedes as compared to the 11.4 per 100,000 individuals in the United States.

On September 3, 1967, a Swedish legislation that was passed in 1963, took effect. This legislation, also known as Dagen H or the Right-Hand Traffic Diversion, ordered a switch to right-hand traffic. Though everything seemed almost hilarious, but contrary to what so many said that the switch is murderous, road fatalities dropped more than 50% to the surprise of many. This was because everyone drove carefully; drivers had both of their hands on the wheel and both of their eyes on the road. Nobody or very few dared to fight for the way too.

Stating confidently that deaths or injuries on the road are not acceptable, the Swedish parliament wrote into law in 1997 its “Vision Zero” plan, which promises to eliminate road injuries and fatalities altogether. With the way they are handling and managing things, they are slowly proving that, indeed, mobility and safety can be enjoyed at the same time.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated ninety-four percent of car crashes are due to errors committed by drivers. Driving errors are clear manifestations of irresponsible and bad road behavior. These activities, which have actually become an epidemic on U.S. roads and highways include, but are not limited to, speeding, drunk-driving, reckless driving, aggressive driving, failure to use signal lights, tailgating, changing lanes improperly, improper way of overtaking and distracted driving. Of all these, distracted driving is one contributing factor in accidents that can be committed by even the most careful drivers.

Distracted driving involves turning one’s attention from the act of driving to an activity that takes away a his/her attention off the road and/or his/her hand/s off the wheel. There can be an endless list of distracted driving activities, but to name a few of those most commonly committed, there is eating, drinking, conversing with a passenger, reading a map, grooming, using/adjusting a GPS, watching a video, adjusting a radio, a CD player, or any portable electronic device, fixing a tie, lighting a cigarette, driving while angry, texting or conversing with someone over a hand-held phone (these last two happen to be the leading cause of driving distraction, especially among young drivers).

Driving distractions are so normal that a driver, most often than not, will not even realize that he/she is already guilty of distracted driving. Unfortunately, whenever a driver gets distracted or makes mistakes, the most often result is a crash that can injure or even kill another.

With our smart phones and GPS devices within arms reach, our minds are easily distracted. This type of negligent behavior can lead to serious and sometimes fatal consequences. According to the attorneys at Erez Law firm, negligence is the “legal concept that serves as the basis for most personal injury lawsuits.”

As clearly pointed out by a Louisville car accident attorney, however, “If there is a single expectation that we should be able to have of other drivers, it should be that they will take every reasonable precaution to avoid causing an accident. Nonetheless, there are drivers out there who are so completely unaware of themselves and their surroundings that they end up causing serious accidents that should have been avoidable. That being said, drivers who do anything else to cause an otherwise preventable accident—like looking at their phone instead of the road—can usually be held financially liable for the accidents that they cause.”

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Lending a Car to a Friend or Family

In our social world, many drivers have undoubtedly driven someone else’s car. However, people who lend their cars to friends or family always have some reservations about the liability they may incur. Many people often question whose insurance policy will cover a borrowed car. This involves a complicated answer that is primarily a case-by-case situation. The short answer is that auto insurance follows the car, not the driver.

Am I covered if I lend someone my car?

Depending on the rules of the individual policy, your insurance will most likely cover another driver; however, if you have given permission for another driver to operate your vehicle then you must accept that in many situations you may be held liable for an accident. All claims proceedings will be handled through your insurance, including paying the deductible and any possible rate increases. If your coverage limit has already been exceeded by the incident, then the driver’s insurance will be used as a secondary coverage to satisfy the difference.

Of course, if your friend or family borrowing the vehicle was not at fault for the accident then your insurance will not be affected. The at-fault party will be obligated to pay for any damages caused by the accident. Concurrently, if the driver of your vehicle was not given explicit permission to drive your car then the driver’s insurance policy will be considered the primary coverage.

Insurance policies are almost always full of caveats designed to allow insurance companies to easily deny coverage, especially in cases of dramatic injuries or deaths. According to the website of an Oceanside car accident lawyer, car accidents frequently cause severe, life-altering injuries. This is exactly the sort of thing an insurance company will try to deny covering. Make sure your coverage includes personal injury protection to keep yourself off the hook for these sorts of accidents.

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Car and Truck Accidents

Road accidents and car collisions happen every day, and there are many reasons why such tragic accidents happen. The majority of these road accidents are due to human errors. Even with the latest safety features and responsible driving, if people become irresponsible and reckless when they are driving on the road, then serious injuries, property damage, and even death can happen. Ravid and Associates say that if human error is the cause of the accident, then the victim has the legal right to file for a personal injury claim.

There are many factors that come into play when you get into a car collision, and there are many things that you can do to protect and lower your chances of getting into an accident. To learn more, here are some of the most important and helpful tips you need to know when you are driving on the road. The first thing is to know and understand traffic laws and following them. Educating yourself about state traffic laws, basic road signs, and defensive driving can greatly lower your chances of being in a car accident. By obeying traffic laws and regulations, the law will be on your side if you do get involved in an accident. Often, the ones who caused the accident is the one who will provide compensation for the victims. Depending on the laws in your states, if the other party’s negligence caused the accident and injuries they will be held liable for their actions and can face both civil and criminal charges depending on the severity of damages.

Car accidents, Texas truck accidents, and many other road accidents make the bulk of personal injury claims in the United States. Anyone who filed to use reasonable care when on the road can be considered negligent and can be held accountable for their actions. Contacting an attorney specializing in personal injury claims and car accidents would be beneficial if you want to assess the merits of your claim and aid in making the next legal step.

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