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States with best and worst highway safety laws named

Pennsylvania was named as one of the worst-performing states for adopting highway safety laws in a report released on Jan. 31 by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The report looked at safety laws relating to teen drivers, text messaging, child passenger safety, use of seat belts and motorcycle helmets, and impaired driving among other concerns.

The report identified 376 state laws that it said should be adopted in all states. It found that there were not regulations about using seat belts in the back seat in 32 states and no primary enforcement seat belt law for passengers in 16 states. It named Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, Delaware, Louisiana and Washington, D.C., as the highest-performing places.

The report came as traffic fatalities rose in 2015 and appeared to be on track with a similar pattern in 2016. In 2015, fatalities rose more than 7 percent over the prior year, and this was the largest increase in decades. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2015, 2.4 million people were injured and over 35,000 died in traffic accidents. There was an 8 percent increase in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the first nine months of 2015 according to preliminary figures.

People who are injured in car accidents might face significant medical expenses and a loss of income if they are unable to work. While they might assume that insurance will cover those expenses, this might not be the case. The injured individual may want to speak to an attorney about negotiating with the insurance company and filing a lawsuit against the responsible party if necessary.

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