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Report ranks traffic safety laws in all 50 states

Rhode Island has the best highway traffic safety laws in the nation, while South Dakota has the worst, according to a report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Kentucky's road safety laws are ranked in the middle.

The Washington, D.C.-based trade group's report evaluated the progress of all 50 states on a range of traffic safety regulations, including seat belt and motorcycle helmet use, teen driving, distracted driving, driving while impaired and child passenger safety. According to the report, there are 376 traffic safety laws that states should adopt covering those areas. However, the group found that 16 states don't even have a primary enforcement law mandating seat belt use for front seat passengers. Another 32 states lack seat belt laws for rear seat passengers.

After Rhode Island, the other states receiving a "Green" rating for having strong traffic safety laws were Delaware, Washington, Louisiana and Oregon. Meanwhile, 16 other states joined South Dakota on the "Red" list for having poor traffic safety laws. Kentucky and 27 other states were given a "Yellow" rating, meaning there are gaps in their safety legislation that need to be addressed.

The report comes as traffic fatalities are on the rise in the U.S. In 2015, traffic deaths spiked 7.2 percent from 2014, which is the largest percentage increase in 50 years. Preliminary statistics for January through September 2016 show an 8 percent increase over the same period the previous year.

People who have been injured in car crashes may want to meet with an attorney if they feel that it was caused by the negligence of another motorist. An attorney can review the accident investigation report and other evidence in order to pinpoint the party who should bear financial responsibility for the victim's losses.

Source: Forbes, "As Traffic Deaths Rise, Here's A Report Card For States On Basic Safety Laws," Jaclyn Trop, Jan. 31, 2017

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