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Report lists best, worst states for traffic safety laws

Not all states are equal when it comes to highway safety laws, according to a report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. For example, Rhode Island is the best when it comes to laws regulating seat belts and motorcycle helmets, while South Dakota is the worst. Meanwhile, North Carolina is in the middle of the pack.

Advocates, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group, identified 376 laws it believes state legislatures should adopt to boost highway safety and reduce traffic fatalities. These laws include regulations on seat belt use, motorcycle helmet use, graduated driver's licenses for teens, booster seats, impaired driving and child passenger safety. The report lists 16 states that do not have primary enforcement seat belt legislation for front seat occupants and 32 states without seat belt laws for rear seat occupants.

Besides Rhode Island, the other states with top-rated safety laws were Delaware, Washington, Louisiana and Oregon. The 17 states rated the worst for traffic safety regulations were Wyoming, Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Florida, Iowa, Nebraka, Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont. North Carolina was among 28 states given a "Yellow" rating, meaning improvements need to be made to bridge gaps in existing traffic safety legislation. In 2015, U.S. traffic fatalities increased by 7.2 percent over the prior year.

Car accidents injure thousands of people every year. When an accident is caused due to the negligence of another driver, some victims choose to file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an attorney. If successful, such a suit could help injured victims obtain a monetary settlement that pays for medical expenses, lost wages and other related damages.

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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