The US government has set a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries in America within the next 30 years.

Transportation department officials laid out a plan focusing first on promoting efforts such as increased seat belt use, the use of rumble strips and campaigns against drunken and distracted driving.

The rapid introduction of self-driving cars and other advanced technologies makes it possible to achieve the zero deaths goal, the department said in a statement.

Fully autonomous vehicles hold the potential to eliminate human error, which is a factor in 94% of crashes according to the department.

"We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety, from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels," transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said.

The plan was prompted by a 7.2% surge in road deaths last year.

Preliminary estimates for the first six months of 2016 show the rate of increase has accelerated, with fatalities up 9% over the same period last year.

The zero deaths idea was first adopted in Sweden in 1997 as part of a plan called Vision Zero. It has since been adopted elsewhere, including in several US cities.

AP