Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.
History and Structure
Advocates was founded in 1989 by executives of a number of major property and casualty insurance companies and several prominent consumer and safety leaders. These two communities share virtually identical goals on highway and auto safety issues.
Data from the federal government show that 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, a 5.6 percent increase from the previous year. Preliminary 2017 fatality data do not indicate a major reduction in the number of highway deaths. Further, motor vehicle crashes are responsible for more than two million injuries every year and impose an annual comprehensive cost to society of $836 billion in property loss, medical and emergency bills, productivity loss, lost quality of life, and other related costs. Advocates pursues policies and standards that will prevent and mitigate the major causes contributing to this public health epidemic.
Strategies and Activities
Advocates develops a program plan each year to establish safety priorities and identify state and federal opportunities to advance lifesaving measures. Advocates’ staff proposes legislative solutions, analyzes issues, conducts research, develops strategies, organizes coalitions, testifies before Congress and state legislatures, files technical comments on federal regulatory actions, prepares issue fact sheets and other publications including the annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, and educates the public. Advocates pursues a bipartisan strategy in Congress and in state legislatures working with elected officials, consumer and safety groups, insurers, and others to promote adoption of proven and cost-effective safety measures.
Advocates’ strengths are its steadfast dedication to the adoption of public policies that save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce costs; its unmatched success in achieving vehicle, driver, and roadway improvements; and, the unique collaboration and support it receives for its safety mission from consumer groups and insurance companies and associations. Advocates plays a leadership role in developing legislative and regulatory policies, expanding public understanding of highway and auto safety issues, and encouraging actions to reduce the human and economic costs of motor vehicle crashes.