Will Loosening Road Restrictions Cause Harm – Or Is The Road Being Paved For Automation?


One of the positive side effects of the current global crisis is that fewer cars on the road, making them safer and the air cleaner, to boot. This has come with some interesting impacts, though, most notably President Trump’s suspension of several road safety ordinance measures that were aimed towards improving the safety of truckers and, by extension, everyone on the roads. While ostensibly directed at helping the supply chain reach hard-to-access areas, this change of policy is perhaps confirmation of wider reaching changes in the future.

Current impacts

Streetsblog, a road safety advocate, have noted that while a flat reduction in the number of car crashes has reduced across the USA, the proportional rate has increased. That is, the number of crashes per drivers on the road. Furthermore, personal injury lawyers concerned with RTAs are experiencing a much higher volume of work as injured people seek to obtain credible legal advice concerning injuries against a shifting regulatory backdrop. Both of these metrics indicate that there is, currently, more trouble on the roads.

The big slack

The reduction in the number and strength of road safety regulations shouldn’t come as a surprise. In early February, the USA was the only nation to disassociate from an international declaration on preventing road deaths, according to Forbes. It stands to reason that the writing has been on the wall for US road safety legislation. However, this does not necessarily mean a long term deprecation in road safety standards.

Bottom line

Newer cars are, and always have been, safer. This is the view of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and has been shown through improving statistics through the years as cars become more advanced. The latest models and lines of vehicle boast cutting-edge safety standards and are on the cusp of becoming automated, removing more people from the road. Furthermore, as remote working becomes and more and more popular, with a major shift predicted post-crisis, roads will be less populated and overall a safer prospect for people that need to be on the road. Cutting regulation may aid efficiency in an era when cars are safer.

Countries such as Germany have put trust in good technological standards and safe driving for years. This way of working is starting to find its way in the USA. While current regulatory cuts may seem out of necessity, there are nods to long-term policy views.


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