Last week, a safety group handed out its annual report card for highway safety. Indiana received a mediocre rating for the strength and effectiveness of its highway safety laws. Coming as it does during the first month of a brand new year, Indiana personal injury lawyers hope that the government takes seriously the issues brought up by the report card and its recommendations.
The report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety called Road Map to State Highway Safety Laws, rated all states based on the kind of highway safety laws they have in place to minimize accidents, prevent fatalities and reduce injuries. Fifteen basic and essential highway safety laws relating to teen driving, drunk driving, adult occupant protection and other aspects of highway safety were taken as bench marks.
States were rated based on whether they have such laws in place. Ratings were color coded green, yellow and red, with green indicating that the state has essential safety laws in place, and red indicating lack of adequate highway laws. Yellow indicates that while the state has made some progress in preventing accidents on its highways, it could do a lot more. Indiana had been given a yellow rating.
Fortunately, the report card does not merely stop at handing out ratings, but also offers recommendations to each individual state to better its rating. Indiana has a few recommended laws that if adopted, could reduce accident rates and prevent deaths. The recommended laws are
• Raising of the minimum age for a learner’s permit to 16 • Night time restriction provisions for GDL (graduated driver license) holders • Motorcycle helmet laws for all riders • Ignition interlock laws
• Text messaging restrictions for of all drivers • Mandatory BAC (blood alcohol content) level testing in drunk driving accidents where the driver has been killed
As Indiana personal injury lawyers, we couldn’t agree more. While our cities don’t figure as the worst in the country in which to drive, the state could be doing more to minimize annual highway accident fatalities in Indiana, which stood at 814 in 2008.