Advanced Drivers of North America has joined the Road to Zero Coalition

Advanced Drivers of North America is pleased to have become a member of the Road to Zero Coalition [RTZ].

The Road to Zero Coalition logoAmong the many worthy goals of RTZ are those shown below on which we at Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA] place particular focus and in most instances we are in a position to promote or advise upon.

Photograph of the scene of a fatal road crash in the USA.
A fatal road traffic crash (not “accident”) which I came across by chance on my travels in the USA. Copyright image.

Any bold, italicized text has merely been highlighted by ADoNA for particular importance, whereas anything in [square parentheses] is a comment that has been added by us:

  • Reaching zero deaths will require policies that reverse course on the trend in many states to roll back safety laws, such as the trend toward higher and higher speed limits. 
  • We don’t need to wait for the promised future safety benefits of autonomous vehicles [Indeed, the time scale may be much longer than some of the promoters or optimists would have us believe].   We can save more lives now if we double down on policies already proven to reduce crashes. Research has already validated many effective strategies such as strong safety belt laws, photo enforcement, roundabouts, and programs to reduce alcohol-impaired driving, yet not all communities have adopted them.
Photograph of two roadside memorials, on opposite sides of a rural road, and from two separate crashes.
Not one but two memorials, for two separate crashes on either side of this road at this one location in Illinois. Photo: Copyright 2012.
  • States and communities should be increasing their investments in the comprehensive approach required to get to zero fatalities, including but not limited to well-designed and well-operated infrastructure, strong and well-enforced safety laws, extensive public education and outreach, and more effective emergency response capability….
  • Infrastructure improvements, reduced speed limit and better laws, providing better protection for vulnerable populations and changing driver behavior have all helped Vision Zero NYC get closer to zero.
  • It is only when all stakeholders come together that road safety projects, policies and technologies can [achieve maximum efficacy and] be sustainable—ultimately saving lives….
Photo of a motorcycle traffic police officer in Buffalo, NY.
A motorcycle traffic cop in Buffalo, NY. (Copyright image, 2017.)
  • High visibility traffic enforcement coupled with public awareness campaigns help raise driver awareness and reduce unsafe behaviors….
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. Employers can adopt and enhance road safety policies for employee drivers and fleets. They can also use health and safety promotion programs to get road safety information to all employees and their families. 
  • In large truck crashes where one or more deaths result from the crash, 88 percent of the time it is attributable to driver error by either the car or truck driver. Maintaining a safe speed and driving distance are critical, particularly when operating around commercial motor vehicles, which take longer to stop than a personal vehicle. 
  • Research and experience show that enacting and enforcing strong laws addressing driver behavior reduces crashes and save lives.
Photograph of a car that has just been in a collision. The airbags have inflated but are now in the process of deflating, and the car's two occupants are still in their seats, stunned.
This photo was taken no more than 2 seconds after the collision that triggered the airbags, which are now in the process of deflating. The driver and his passenger are still in the car, stunned. Possibly through distraction, the car driver had just collided with the back of a stationary truck — not an “accident,” an act of negligence; a collision. Copyright image.
  • Laws for occupant protection, child passenger restraints, teen driver safety, impairment and distraction work and states should take action now.  [In addition, at ADoNA — as part of the ‘extensive public education’ mentioned in the third bullet point, above — we strongly promote the need for vastly improved state drivers manuals, to match global best practices in this field, together with significantly improved student-driver training and testing. Until the eventual point in time when fully-autonomous, self-driving vehicles are the only mode, this will remain extremely important.]
Burning vehicle on the shoulder.  (Copyright image, 2012.)
  • Each day on average 100 people are killed and 6,500 more are injured in the USA in motor vehicle crashes. Combining strong safety laws with proven advanced vehicle technologies will be key to bringing down this preventable carnage on our roads.

It is time we all got together to help the USA move from being the long-term, least-safe of 30 developed nations, in terms of road deaths, to becoming one of the safest, and then on to the crucial goal of zero!

Visit the Road To Zero web page.

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at:

2 thoughts on “Advanced Drivers of North America has joined the Road to Zero Coalition”

  1. I can confidently predict that USA will never reach zero road deaths because
    a) you place individual freedom to do what you like above the need to protect life,
    b) there is no Federal Agency that has absolute powers; individual States treasure their independence more than life itself
    c) it’s just not in the American psyche to regulate to that extent; to introduce and enforce regulations which would be necessary would be seen as depriving the individual citizen of their rights – just look at the scenario of gun law as an example.

    1. I don’t doubt that you are correct, Lance, about the USA never reaching ‘zero’, but to be honest, do you ever expect any country to do so? None-the-less, I very much share your concerns.

      From our point of view, the most important aspect of this is that at long last the USA has actually expressed a tangible target, albeit one that is well into the future. The last time a solid target was expressed by the U.S. it was set by the then Secretary of Transportation Norman Minetta, around 2007-08, with a goal for 2010, but as soon as he was replaced in his post the said target was instantly swept under the carpet and — if memory of the details serves me correctly — has still never been met.

      In the notes I have added to the above article, on behalf of ADoNA, I hope you see that I have tried to draw attention to the need for more adoption of global best practices, not just ‘Target Zero’ no matter how good that is. Sweden didn’t arrive at its own jumping-off point for target zero without a lot more safety measures already in place, and I don’t think it is at all realistic for the USA to believe it can leapfrog all of those other measures and still achieve the same level of result. Your own comments certainly touch upon some very pertinent points.

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