Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Just how effective are Maryland's highway safety laws?

Last week, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a vehicle safety group whose stated mission is the "adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes," released a rather eye-opening report grading the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the efficacy of their highway safety laws.

Specifically, the report gave those states with the highest number of vehicle safety laws a green rating, states with important vehicle safety laws on the books, but room for improvement, a yellow rating, and states dangerously behind on their adoption of vehicle safety laws a red rating.

How did Maryland do in the report?

The report found that there were 513 motor vehicle fatalities in Maryland in 2015 alone and 5,920 motor vehicle fatalities over the last ten years. Despite these rather sobering figures, the report gave Maryland a yellow rating.

What are the areas in which Maryland needs to improve?

Interestingly, it would appear that outside of the lack of a primary enforcement seat belt law for rear passengers, the only other thing standing in the way of Maryland's earning a green rating is the dearth of vehicle safety laws dealing with teen drivers.

Indeed, the researchers cited more stringent nighttime restrictions, as well as stronger passenger restrictions and an increase in the minimum learner's permit age to 16 as laws that need to be passed.

Which states fared the best and the worst in the report?

Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, Louisiana, Oregon and the District of Columbia all earned green ratings.

On the other end of the spectrum, 17 states earned red ratings, including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.

Here's hoping state lawmakers take note of this report ...

As always, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to the reckless actions of another behind the wheel.

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