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California Traffic Safety: A Look at Our Report Card

December 31, 1969

Federal transportation officials have offered up some serious grant incentives and they've even created a new transportation law to get more states to adopt some, if not all, of 15 basic traffic safety laws.

According to the 10th annual report card by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, there aren't enough states that are making the moves to create safer roadways for travelers.
New York led the report card grades by adopting 13 out of the 15 road laws. South Dakota was ranked as one of the worst, only enacting 3 out of the 15. California sat right in the middle, giving roadway safety a minimal effort.

Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers understand that there were more than 2,700 people killed in car accidents in the state of California in 2010. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were another 230,000 people injured in traffic accidents during the year. Federal officials believe that many of these accidents, injuries and fatalities could have been prevented if state and local lawmakers enacted tougher laws for drivers in the area.

"Several states have been moving backwards and most states are not moving at all to enact lifesaving laws," said Jacqueline Gillan, with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Each year, car accidents cost the country close to $250 billion. They're getting more and more expensive, too! As the economy recovers and more motorists hit our roadways, the risks for accidents are only going to increase. Now is as good of a time as ever to start improving our state's road laws and enforcement of them.

According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report, the state of California needs to:

-Enact a minimum age of 16 for learner's permits. Currently, a driver can get their learner's permit at 15 and only has to use it for 6 months.

-Toughen up our nighttime driving curfews for drivers with provisional licensed. Right now, these drivers are only banned from driving from 11:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. And this is only secondary enforcement. The truth is that these young drivers' accident risks skyrocket when the sun sets.

-Tighten up the passenger restrictions for your drivers. First 12 months of this licensing stage, there are to be no passengers younger than 20 (limited exception for immediate family) in the vehicle with the young driver. Again, this is only secondary enforcement. Passengers serve as distractions and increase a driver's risks for an accident.

-Officers should push distraction-related laws harder. Cell phones, text messaging and the use of other electronic devices should is banned for all drivers, but by focusing on those with the highest risks, we can help to make our roadways safer for all.

-Only allow drivers to receive an unrestricted driver's license once they've completed the state's Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) program and once they've reached the age of 18.

-Enact automatic ignition interlock devices for all convicted of drunk driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925 today.

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