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States' traffic laws performances are rated

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a trade group based in Washington, D.C., has released a report that evaluates the progress made by each state in implementing highway safety laws. West Virginia motorists may be interested to know how their state's highway safety laws fare when compare to those of other states.

The report was released as the deaths caused by traffic crashes have reached a seven-year high. The highway safety laws that were examined covered the use of motorcycle helmets and seatbelts, child passenger safety, distracted and impaired driving and teen driving. According to the group, there are 376 state laws that legislatures should adopt to regulate those areas. The report indicates 16 states have no primary enforcement seat belt statutes for front seat passengers. There are also currently 33 states that have no seat belt regulations for passengers occupying the rear seats of a vehicle.

In 2015, the traffic death rate had its largest percentage increase in 50 years. Early data for the first nine months of 2016 indicate that there was an 8 percent increase over the same period in 2015. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.4 million people were injured and over 35,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2015.

The report rates each state plus the District of Columbia in five categories. Places with the top ratings include Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Oregon, Washington and Louisiana. States that showed worst performance included, among others, Mississippi, Florida Arizona, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, Ohio, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Missouri.

People who have been injured in a car accident due to the negligent driving of another motorist often require extensive medical care and treatment, during which they could lose wages due to an inability to return to their jobs. They may want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation from the at-fault driver for their losses.

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