Federal Highway Administration
These are the lowest numbers of fatalities in a half century of automobile travel. It is important to realize that you are not only living in historical times for highway safety, but even more so, you are helping write that history. As we all know, it has been a collective effort to get this far and many share credit for this chane … just as it will take many to continue to move us towards zero deaths.
Still, almost 34,000 Americans die on our nations’ highways, and millions of men women and children are seriously injured. This tragedy affects not only their families and friends in communities across the United States, but poses a tremendous burden on our health care system and our economy. But there is progress being made.
As an example, the $26.6 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds that were directed at improving the nation’s roads provided an opportunity to not only provide Americans with jobs, but to also save lives.
In the past year, the State DOTs have initiated 880 ARRA projects specifically aimed at improving safety and traffic management on the nation’s highways representing 7.2 percent of total FHWA ARRA projects and 5 percent of total funding. Many of these projects used low-cost technologies that have been proven to save lives and reduce the severity of crashes. However, this $1.27 billion investment of ARRA funds in safety projects is only the tip of the iceberg.
All 12,200-plus highway projects built with ARRA funds have been designed according to the latest safety standards with many including wider shoulders, new and more effective guardrails, and bike and pedestrian facilities.