Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an organization founded in 1989 by executives of the major property and casualty insurance companies and prominent consumer and safety leaders. Over the course of the past 25 years, the organization has been a strong leader in encouraging the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs. They recently released their “2014 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws”, which provides a guide for state elected officials on what laws their states are lacking and where action is needed.
Much has changed since the organization began 25 years ago. At that time, only six states had a primary enforcement seatbelt law. (A primary enforcement law allows law enforcement officers to stop and ticket the driver when they see a violation, without the need for an other violation to occur.) Today, 33 states and the District of Columbia have a primary enforcement seat belt law covering front seat passengers, and more than 12,000 lives were saved in 2012 because of seatbelt use. Traffic fatalities have declined by 26% since 1989, a wonderful achievement which shows that when states take action to enact and enforce stringent traffic safety laws, lives are saved and injuries are reduced.
The 2014 study points to the significant progress that has been made over the course of 25 years, but laments that there is still not a single state that has all of the organization’s 15 recommended safety laws. And there is some backsliding: during the 2013 legislative session, 19 bills to repeal existing all-rider motorcycle helmet laws were introduced in 11 states, while only three state legislatures introduced all-rider helmet bills. Motorcycle rider deaths continue to climb to record numbers, and studies show that without laws, helmet use is low and fatalities are high. There were 10 times as many unhelmeted motorcycle fatalities in states without all-rider helmet laws as in states with all-rider helmet laws.
This is one of several posts which will look at the information revealed in the 2014 Roadmap of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. To read more of this information please clicke here. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact Stark & Stark today for a free, no obligation consultation.