Safer Roadways in 2023?

In recent years roadway safety trends have been deteriorating, but industry stakeholders are working to change that in 2023. According to Fleetowner, the DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, which was released in January 2022, outlined a multi-pronged approach to reducing fatalities and injuries. It reasons that by focusing on multiple variables, including driver behavior, vehicle design, and roadway design, human error can be accounted for, reducing the likelihood of death or serious injury in the inevitable occurrence of a crash. In fact, there are signs that safer roadways could be on the uptick as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) saw its first decline in traffic deaths after seven consecutive quarters of increases.

One system that is becoming more and more popular among commercial vehicles is driver-facing cameras. Although these cameras are rejected often by drivers, it is estimated that 63,000 crashes could be avoided if not only driver facing dash cams but video systems in general were applied more often. Stefan Heck, CEO of vehicle safety platform provider Nauto, said “distracted driving is a factor in about two-thirds of cases, and the company is further developing approaches to improve that.” Dash cameras would be able to detect distracted driving such as smartphone or tablet usage.

Although many believe the semi-trucks are the reason behind many of the crashes on the highways, over 70% of them are caused by passenger car drivers. Stefan Heck went on to explain that Nauto is working with one manufacturer to integrate their technology into company cars by 2026. Coming out of the busiest holiday season with high travel volumes and more traffic, trucking stakeholders, safety regulators and technology companies are all working diligently to ensure 2023 is a safer year for travelers everywhere.

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