What is State Legislation Doing to Keep You Safer on the Road?

Some days, your daily commute may seem easy with all the motorists working together to make the drive go smoothly. Other days, you feel like you’re driving in a nightmare, avoiding a reckless and aggressive motorist on the right and a distracted driver on the left.

No one will argue with the fact that the roads throughout the U.S. are packed and often unsafe. Given the amount of people who are killed or injured in car accidents each year, you may wonder what is being done to make our roads safer.

As frustrating as it can be at times, your state legislators work hard to keep the roads safe and are continuously trying to make improvements. While the laws in each state vary a bit, here are some of the common safety initiatives to reduce fatalities and keep you safer.

Seat Belt Laws

It may come as a surprise that some drivers and passengers still see wearing a seat belt as optional. Decades of research shows that seat belts can be lifesaving in the event of an accident, yet many don’t wear one when making small trips across town. Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time.

In states like Rhode Island where seat belt use is a primary law, which means you can be pulled over for not wearing one, more people are likely to buckle up. The same goes for the fines associated with not wearing a seat belt. In states where the fine is higher, most motorists are willing to take the risk.

Distracted Driving Laws

Roadways and distracted driving

Image: NeedPix.com

Distracted driving is one of the biggest factors in today’s car accidents. It is also one of the most difficult laws to enforce because a distraction can be anything from a cellphone to eating a sandwich while driving.

For now, there are state laws banning cell phone use and texting and driving because it’s proven that handheld devices are a significant distraction behind the wheel. Depending on where you live, the laws may already be strict and if not, you can expect them to become more strict at some point.

Drunk Driving Laws

Drunk driving continues to be a major contributor in accidents, despite the constant efforts to prevent drunk driving. While the BAC across the U.S. is 0.08, that hasn’t prevented people from getting behind the wheel.

Extra patrolling during weekends and on the holidays have helped, and at this time, prevention seems to be the most effective. More states are making ignition interlock devices mandatory for anyone who has a drunk driving offense in hopes of preventing subsequent offenses (and accidents).

Why You Might Not Be Seeing Changes in Your State

If you live in a state where driving laws are strict, and the penalties are high, be thankful. Even if it seems a bit annoying, it’s meant to keep you safe. You might live in a state where the laws seem to be lax and the roads continue to be dangerous. Why? A lot depends on funding.

If you want your roads to be safer, become a safer and more responsible driver. You should also voice your concerns and talk to or write your state legislators. They represent you and you have the right to express your desire for safer roads.

Author: Matt Rhoney