Report: States Behind on Traffic Safety Laws

  • January 12, 2010

Nearly half of the states don't do enough to reduce auto accidents that killed 37,261 Americans last year, such as stepping up seat belt enforcement or banning text-messaging while driving, according to a new report (PDF) by Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety.

The nonprofit group released the 2010 Roadmap to State HighwaySafety Laws  as many state legislative sessions get under way to help states avoid the thousands of “largely preventable” roadway deaths each year that are a “never-ending, American tragedy,” Judith Lee Stone, the group's president, said at a Washington news conference Monday. This is the seventh annual report that grades all 50 states and Washington D.C., on their traffic safety laws.

In a year when many states continue to face deep budget deficits, advocates say stronger laws could actually save money. In 2008, the nearly six million car accidents in the country cost an estimated $230 billion “in property and productivity losses, medical and emergency bills and other related costs,” according to the report.

Read the full report States Behind on Traffic Safety Laws on