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States lack vital auto safety laws

Safety technology currently exists that can prevent car accidents and save lives, according to the recent release of a safety report on the adoption of 16 fundamental safety laws by the states. However, traffic fatalities have continued because states have not adopted these measures.

The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety issued its 15th report on laws adopted by the states and the District of Columbia. It found that stronger laws and adoption of safety devices could help prevent the approximately 100 traffic deaths and 6,500 injuries occurring each day in this country. In total, 37,000 were killed in vehicle accidents for 2016 while preliminary figures for last year show that this trend is continuing.

This costs each person a crash tax of $784 each year. Loss of life, pain and lower of quality of life costs $836 billion each year.

These advocates rank states on laws providing safeguards for distracted, impaired and teenage drivers and for laws encouraging the use of seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child safety seats. They also seek adoption of existing safety technologies such as collision avoidance, automated speed and traffic light systems and ignition interlocks.

Rhode Island received the top ranking by enacting 13 of the 16 laws. Delaware, Oregon, Washington, California, Louisiana and Washington DC also received favorable rankings. South Dakota was ranked at the bottom by approving only two recommended laws. Other states with bad rankings included Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Florida, Nebraska, Virginia, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Vermont.

Indiana fell in the group of states with a caution ranking for enacting six to 10 of the recommended measures. The state suffered 821 traffic fatalities in 2016 and 7,860 deaths over a 10-year period and its annual economic costs from accidents is $6.375 billion.

The report recommended that Indiana adopt laws requiring a minimum age of 16 for learner's permits, stronger night driving restrictions and unrestricted license ignition interlocks for all impaired driver offenders over 18. A motorcycle helmet law and stronger child seat requirements were also recommended.

A car accident victim may seek compensation for injuries and lost wages suffered in a car accident caused by another motorist's recklessness or negligence. They should seek legal representation to help assure that they pursue this right in a lawsuit.

Source: Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, "Advocates releases 2018 roadmap of state highway safety laws"

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