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Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety Rank States in Annual Report

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Pennsylvania still lacking in some driver safety laws

On January 22, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released their 12th annual “Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws” report. The report outlines the number of people killed and injured in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013 (the latest data available), and what can be done to improve safety on our nation’s roads.  Areas of focus include child passenger safety, teen drivers, impaired driving, distracted driving, seat belt and helmet laws.  The report also provides a state-by-state breakdown of where safety laws are enforced, and issues “green” “yellow” and “red” ratings based on this. See how your state compares to the rest of the country when it comes to safety laws and traffic deaths. If you want clear, reader-friendly analysis or quick facts about car accidents where you live, click here to check it out.

Key findings:

32,719 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013—a  3% decrease from 2012.  An estimated 2.3 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2013.  Almost half (49%) of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained.

Here’s a breakdown of how PA scored in the report’s 5 categories:

Occupant protection: Including primary enforcement front and rear seat belt laws, and all-rider motorcycle helmet laws – PA ranks in the red. Meaning, our state lacks two or more of those three laws.

Child passenger safety: PA is in the green, we have optimal booster seat laws enforced.

Teen driving: In this section, there are 7 provisions under consideration: that the minimum age for acquiring a learner’s permit is 16; that student drivers have a 6 month holding period before they may receive a driver’s license; that they have 30-50 hours of supervised driving before they may receive a driver’s license; nighttime driving restriction; passenger restriction; cell phone restriction; that the age requirement  for an unrestricted license is 18. PA is yellow, meaning it only meets 4 of those 7 provisions.

Impaired driving: The three aspects of this category are laws concerning ignition interlock devices, child endangerment, and open containers.  Pennsylvania ranks yellow, as we have no ignition interlock law. An ignition interlock device is similar to a breathalyzer. It is linked to the vehicle’s ignition and is designed to prevent someone who is intoxicated from driving. These devices are to be used by those convicted of a DUI. Ignition interlock device laws are currently in place in 24 states – PA is not among them.

Distracted driving: Pennsylvania ranks green in this category, as we have optimal texting restriction laws.

Pennsylvania received a yellow rating overall.

As Pennsylvania car and truck accident lawyers, highway and auto safety is among our top concerns. While it is encouraging that the number of traffic deaths nationwide has decreased some, there is much room for improvement, especially in our home state. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or been in an accident, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Our initial consultation is free. We can be reached at 855-866-5529.

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