The 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data released last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tragically revealed that 37,461 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2016 — that's nearly 2,200 more fatalities than in 2015, a 5.6 percent increase.
Even more startling is that the motor vehicle fatality percentage increases from 2014 to 2015 (8.4%) and from 2015 to 2016 (5.6%) mark the most significant back-to-back, year-over-year increases since 1963 to 1964 (9.4%) and from 1964 to 1965 (3.2%).
"The Intelligent Transportation Society of America is committed to promoting the research and deployment of advanced transportation technologies to dramatically lower the number of motor vehicle deaths and injuries. We believe that intelligent transportation technology, such as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), now being developed and deployed will substantially improve the safety of our highways and roads for everyone including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians," said David St. Amant, Interim President and CEO.
DSRC which uses the 5.9 GHz safety spectrum enables vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies. V2V-enabled vehicles can securely and anonymously transmit data directly from one vehicle to another and greatly reduce crashes. V2V provides drivers with advance warning of potential crash risks in a variety of situations including suddenly stopped traffic, bad weather, blind intersections, and work zones.
NHTSA says using V2V applications could avoid or mitigate 89 percent of light-duty vehicle crashes and 85 percent of their associated costs, saving thousands of lives, avoiding millions of injuries, and yielding billions of dollars in cost savings.
"ITS America — with a diverse membership that includes private sector leaders, state and city DOT officials as well as leading research and academic institutions — calls on federal policymakers to advance DRSC and other intelligent technological solutions that will be key to improving the safety of our nation's roads," said St. Amant.