North Carolina motorists may have noticed that the roads have become far busier in recent years. American drivers covered 50.5 billion more miles between January and June 2016 than they did during the first six months of 2015, and this increased traffic congestion contributed to a 10 percent surge in accident fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the equivalent period in 2015. A NHTSA report released on Oct. 5 revealed that 17,775 people died in motor vehicle accidents during the first half of the year, which puts 2016 on pace to be the deadliest year on the nation's roads in five decades.
The Department of Transportation reacted to the sobering figures by announcing a bold goal. The Swedish government managed to cut fatality rates by more than 50 percent over 15 years, but the DOT hopes to eliminate traffic accident deaths entirely within three decades. Experts say that this goal could actually be achievable thanks to self-driving cars that have the potential to eliminate the human error that plays a role in 94 percent of car accidents.