FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety on Labor Day Weekend Road Travel
(Washington, DC | August 29, 2023) Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end to summer and a celebration of workers, is already upon us. Widely celebrated with fun festivities like picnics and last trips to the beach, it is also one of the deadliest times of year on the Nation’s roadways. Advocates would like to remind all drivers to stay focused on driving, awake, aware and sober, and to ensure every passenger is buckled up appropriately.
We also take this time to urge our Nation’s leaders to advance proven solutions to make every road user safe–whether they are working in a roadside construction zone, responding to an emergency, driving for leisure and recreation, commuting to work or school, or walking, rolling or bicycling.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2022, almost 43,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and estimates for the first three months of 2023 continue to project fatalities around the 40,000 mark. These are not just statistics. That’s 40,000 families whose loved ones do not return home.
Every road user, whether inside or outside the vehicle, can and should be protected by available, verified safety technology. To accomplish this goal, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must issue minimum performance standards for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and other proven technologies. Safety directives in the bipartisan 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58) and other overdue mandated advances need to be pushed to completion without further delay. In addition, upgrading and improving roadway infrastructures to promote safety such as narrowing roads, creating roundabouts, and constructing accessible sidewalks and protected bike lanes are essential. All these improvements can and will save lives.
Holidays should be filled with joyful moments spent with family and friends, not destroyed by a traumatic crash, injury or loss of life. This Labor Day, Advocates urges everyone to be safe and thanks those who build and maintain our roadways, and who prevent and respond to motor vehicle crashes, putting their lives in jeopardy all year long.
Media Contact: Helen Jonsen 202-977-7634 email@example.com