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Study finds simple safety laws lacking in many states

New York residents may be surprised to learn that South Dakota rates as the worse state in regards to highway safety laws, according to a trade group based in Washington, D.C., known as Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. In contrast, Rhode Island has the best highway safety laws.

The report evaluates how states adhere to highway safety laws regarding child passenger safety, teen driving, distracted and impaired driving, motorcycle helmet and seat belt use and found 375 state laws that would regulate these safety issues if uniformly adopted. The study comes amidst increased traffic fatalities for the last seven years. The organization identified 32 states that do not have rear seat passenger safety belt regulations, and 16 states that lack a primary enforcement seat belt law.

The group's president said that because state legislatures are failing to pass lifesaving measures, there are needless deaths taking place on the nation's roadways. In fact, the group found that during 2015, traffic deaths climbed by more than 7 percent from the previous year, which was the largest increase in50 years. Further, preliminary data for January to September of 2016 revealed an 8 percent increase from the identical time frame in 2015 when there were more than 35,000 traffic-related fatalities and 2.4 million people who were injured, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Despite highway safety laws, many people still die or are severely injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by speeding, careless or distracted drivers. People who have been harmed in such an accident may want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist for their losses.

Source: Forbes, "As Traffic Deaths Rise, Here's A Report Card For States On Basic Safety Laws", Jaclyn Trop, Jan. 31, 2017

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