It may seem like a no-brainer, but a new report is claiming that the states with the safest roads are those with the strongest traffic safety laws. Specifically, California and the 17 other states that ranked the highest in the annual report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety also spend the least on car, truck and motorcycle accidents and related costs.
The report is the group's annual ranking of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia based on whether they have adopted the 15 basic laws that the group deems essential to traffic safety. The group is made up of several health, safety, insurance and law enforcement organizations that work to advance state and federal highway safety laws and policies.
For this year's rankings, the group focused on laws mandating the use of seat belts, booster seats, and motorcycle helmets. It also focused on teen and distracted driving, and the severity of drunk driving laws and penalties.
California was one of the 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, that received the highest rank in the report. California requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets. In addition, the state recently enacted a law requiring children between the ages of 4 and 7 to use approved booster seats when riding in cars and other motor vehicles.
All in all, 13 states enacted 16 of the group's basic traffic safety laws in 2011. In order to fully meet the 15 legislative recommendations, nearly 350 additional laws would need to be passed throughout the U.S.
Source: Clutch and Chrome, "States need motorcycle helmet laws study says," Jan. 16, 2012