Car accidents are a sad fact of life and are a top cause of death for Americans, especially the young. Unfortunately, completely eliminating all car accidents is a virtual impossibility. However, by passing smart laws to restrict dangerous driving behaviors, states can do a lot to keep their residents safe.
Every year, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety take a close look at what states have done in order to discourage bad driving behavior and encourage responsible driving. Our Philadelphia accident attorneys have reviewed their 10th Annual Report in order to see how Pennsylvania measures up.
Pennsylvania Driver Safety Rules: Does PA Make the Grade?
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety took a look at fifteen important driver safety laws to see where the states stood. If the state had an adequate law, the state got credit for that law. If it had no law or an insufficient law on the books, it got no credit. The state was then assigned a color. Pennsylvania was assigned the color yellow, which means that we have some safety laws in place but are lacking in many key areas.
According to the Advocates, here is how PA measures up:
- Pennsylvania does not have a primary seat belt law. This means that police cannot pull you over and give you a ticket just for failing to wear your seat belt. The state got no credit since we were lacking.
- PA also got no credit on motorcycle helmet laws since we do not require all drivers be helmeted.
- The state did get credit for its booster seat law.
- PA did well on teen drivers. We require a six month holding period and supervised drive time; we have a minimum age of 16 for obtaining a learner’s permit, and we have restrictionS on the number of passengers that a teen driver can transport in his or her vehicle. We got credit for each of these laws.
- The state wasn’t perfect on teen drivers though — we got no credit because of our night time restriction law is not sufficient, and our cell phone restriction law also did not make the grade.
- No credit was awarded for ignition interlock device laws since PA does not require that all DUI offenders install a device in their vehicles.
- The state was also lacking in a child endangerment law for DUI offenders. We do, however, have open container laws and require a mandatory blood alcohol content test for drivers when there is a suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
- Pennsylvania got credit for our statewide text messaging restriction that applies to all drivers.
The state, therefore, got credit for having eight of the fifteen safety laws. While this is a good start, lawmakers should strongly consider adding a few more driving safety regulations to the books in order to make the roads in the state just a little bit safer.
If you have been injured in a car accident contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates at 1-215-953-5200.