How important is your car’s liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage? The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety (Advocates) published the new 2016 Road-map of State Highway Safety Laws. The Advocates, who have been putting this out for the past thirteen years call this their annual countrywide report card. They grade each state on the enactment of 15 basic traffic safety laws. These laws have been proven with years of unquestionable date to show that they are quite effective at reducing preventable crashes which is why car insurance companies are also very interested in following. This year’s theme was called “Missing in Action” and the reason they chose this theme was because there has been an alarming trend to advance the highway safety agenda in various states in 2015.
The data thus far indicates that we can expect to see a rise in highway fatalities to 8 percent or more. This will reverse the 2-year gradual decline we’ve seen in recent years. Surprising they said all states are clearly missing the most critical important safety laws. Believe it or not, in 2015 only 6 states were able to enact the highly recommended traffic safety laws which the Advocates started calling for in their first report dating back to 2004.
They went on to say that “Across the nation, state legislatures are missing in action while more people are being killed in motor vehicle crashes” every day. Hard to imagine but, “This year some states actually considered repealing laws requiring motorcycle helmet and seat belt use as well as teen driving protections.”
With traffic fatalities on the rise, it’s now more important than ever to not only have liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage but it’s also equally important to review your limits of coverage with your insurance agent to be sure you are not under-insured. Accidents happen when we least expect them or else we’d be able to easily swerve out of the way. Don’t be caught carrying the cheapest limits of insurance. Buy car insurance with coverage limits adequate to protect you in the event of an accident. And with fatalities increasing, statistically it’s even more important now than ever.
The states which scored highest are California, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington, Louisiana, and Oregon.
The states which scored the lowest are Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
According to PRNewswire, new state laws enacted in 2015 are:
- Primary Enforcement of Seat Belts: Front and Rear Seats – Utah (16 states still need front seat; 32 states need rear seat)
- All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law: None adopted or repealed (31 states still need this law)
- Booster Seats (ages 4 through 7): Kentucky, Oklahoma (17 states still need this law)
- Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) for teen drivers: None adopted (No state currently has all of the components of a comprehensive GDL law. 174 laws are needed to addressing missing provisions)
- Impaired Driving: Texas (ignition interlock devices for all offenders), West Virginia (Open Container); (35 states and DC are missing laws, a total of 40 laws)
- All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction: Mississippi, Oklahoma (9 states still need a texting ban).