As the 4th of July holiday weekend approaches, many Americans are gearing up for a much-needed break. According to AAA, an all-time record of more than 50 million people will travel more than 50 miles to their destination, thanks in part to gas prices that are considerably lower than this time last year.
As we hit the road, it’s important to remember another statistic: in 2022, 42,795 people lost their lives in crashes on American roads. The previous year, 42,939 people died on our roads. Despite all the traffic safety work, we only managed to decrease fatalities by 0.3%.
In the transportation community, we must recommit to lowering that number, and that means actively taking steps to do things differently. Tragedy should never become routine, yet the annual reporting of how many people died on American roads rolls out like just another transportation statistic. As a society, we’ve become almost immune to crash statistics. Road tragedies are not something that just happens to other people - they can happen to anyone.
The status quo of relying on crash data to assess safety is no longer sufficient. To truly transform the way we measure and improve roadway safety, we must tap into the power of connected vehicle data. By utilizing this resource, transportation agencies can effectively and affordably identify safety risks and address potential issues before they escalate into fatalities.