A recent report by the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, reveals California has 10 out of 16 highway safety laws needed to help prevent fatalities in crashes.
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The Golden State is one of only five states that received a “Green” rating, showing significant advancement toward adopting all of Advocates’ recommended optimal laws. Other states with the top rating include Rhode Island, Delaware, Oregon and Louisiana. Also receiving a green rating, the District of Columbia.
State specific, in 2016 California had 3,623 fatalities. The state’s 10-year total for fatalities in vehicle crashes is 31,750 with an annual economic cost nearing $20 billion.
California’s room for improvement includes addressing six missing laws the group found are needed for safer roadways which are minimum age 16 for learner’s permit, nighttime and passenger restrictions, age 18 for unrestricted license for teen drivers, ignition interlocks for all-offenders and a Graduated Driver License (GDL) cell phone restriction.
The National Safety Council uses GDL restrictions as a proven method that reduces teen crashes because it gives teens driving experience in a low-risk environment. It also puts certain restrictions on the teens, such as banned cell phone use – handheld and hands-free. The NSC estimates cell phone use contributes to an estimated 24 percent of all crashes.
The teen driving category has recently experienced one of the highest increases in the United States, up 10 percent from the previous year. In 2015, the nation saw its largest percentage increase of vehicle fatalities in nearly 50 years with 35,092 people killed in motor vehicle crashes.
Other categories on the rise include unbelted occupants (five percent), motorcyclists (eight percent), pedestrians (10 percent), impaired and distracted drivers (three and nine percent) and children (six percent).
Data from 2016 is worse. The latest data shows the first nine months of 2016 show an 8 percent increase in fatalities compared to the same time frame the previous year, according to the report.
Jacqueline Gillan, president of the advocacy group said, “these numbers are both alarming and unacceptable.”
“The problem is clear – too many lives are lost, serious injuries sustained and needless costs incurred because of motor vehicle crashes,” Gillan said. “But, the solutions are also clear. Unlike other public health challenges our country faces, there are effective solutions available today. … Too many states are still lacking too many safety laws and this is contributing to the problem.”
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.