Wake up, America: Traffic Death Toll Rises As 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws Is Released

Thank you, Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, for watching over the laws of our land as they impact safety on our roads.

Today’s the day Advocates’ releases the 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. Join them via webcast at 12pm EST https://t.co/3TxbWKISy8.

Data from the U.S. DOT shows second year of alarming increases in traffic fatalities. Yet, effective safety remedies to save lives and prevent injuries are ignored in state capitals across the country — “Have We Forgotten What Saves Lives?” http://saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/FINAL-2017-Roadmap-Report-1.pdf

We are acting like the individually-united states are just that–individual. Acting like they need to have control over decisions about what SAFETY measures should be required in their individual states.

In disregard of the abundantly-available wonders of modern safety technology, what we are really doing is increasing the likelihood that INDIVIDUALS in their states will experience DEATH BY MOTOR VEHICLE!

I ask again, “Why on earth don’t we establish National Traffic Safety Standards & require them to be adopted by States?”

I wrote about this last year at this time, when they released their 2016 Roadmap: Why on earth don’t we establish National Traffic Safety Standards & require them to be adopted by States?

Every delay in adopting these safety measures increases someone’s chance of dying a preventable death. How can we allow this to continue?

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Excerpts from the 2017 Roadmap:

Key Facts About This Leading Public Health Epidemic:
 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. This is a 7.2% increase from the
previous year and the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Further, early estimates
for the first nine months of 2016 show an 8% increase in fatalities over the same period in 2015.

 Automobile crashes remain a leading cause of death for Americans aged five to 34.
 An estimated 2.44 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2015.
 In 2015, almost half (48%) of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained.
 A total of 4,976 motorcyclists died in 2015. This death toll accounts for 14% of all fatalities.
 1,132 children aged 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015.
 279 children aged four through seven were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015.
 Crashes involving young drivers (aged 15 – 20) resulted in 4,702 total fatalities in 2015.
 There were 10,265 fatalities in crashes involving a drunk driver in 2015.
 In crashes involving a distracted driver, 3,477 people were killed in 2015.
 Motor vehicle crashes are estimated to have an annual societal impact in excess of $836 billion.

Nearly 30% of this figure ($242 billion) is economic costs including property and productivity losses, medical and emergency bills and other related costs. Dividing this cost among the total population amounts to a “crash tax” of $784 for every person, every year.

An additional 376 laws need to be adopted in all states and DC to fully meet
Advocates’ recommended optimal safety laws in this report. . .

States are failing to close important safety gaps because they have not adopted the lifesaving safety laws listed below. While a number of highway safety laws have been enacted during the last few years, many considered to be fundamental to highway safety are still missing in many states.

Based on Advocates’ safety recommendations, states need to adopt 376 laws:
16 states need an optimal primary enforcement seat belt law for front seat passengers;
32 states need an optimal primary enforcement seat belt law for rear seat passengers;
31 states need an optimal all-rider motorcycle helmet law;
39 states and DC need an optimal booster seat law;
213 GDL laws need to be adopted to ensure the safety of novice drivers, no state meets all the criteria recommended in this report;
35 critical impaired driving laws are needed in 33 states; and,
9 states need an optimal all-driver text messaging restriction.

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