VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Study ranks states for traffic safety laws

A report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety named Florida as one of the worst-performing states in terms of traffic safety laws. Other states named as performing poorly included North Dakota, Vermont and Iowa with South Dakota the worst-performing. Rhode Island received the highest score. Some high-performing states were Louisiana, Washington and Delaware.

The organization said that all states should adopt 376 laws concerning seat belt use, teen drivers, texting while driving, impaired driving, use of motorcycle helmets and child safety among other topics. According to the report, more than 30 states do not have regulations regarding seat belts for passengers in the back seat while 16 states lack a front seat passenger primary enforcement seat belt law.

The rise in traffic accidents of 7.2 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year was the biggest percent increase in five decades. In the first nine months of 2016, preliminary figures showed another increase of 8 percent compared to the first nine months of the previous year.

Many traffic accidents are due to human error. When a person is injured in an accident because another driver is distracted, drowsy, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or for some other reason, they might want to consider filing a lawsuit. Sometimes, insurance companies will not offer enough in compensation to cover a person's expenses, and a civil suit could be successful even if there are no criminal charges filed against the driver responsible or if there is a criminal case that results in an acquittal.

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