The 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws has now been released. This report is prepared each year by the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety in order to provide a summary of how well states have been doing with passing laws designed to increase safety on the roads. The laws that states have in place can make a big impact on how likely a crash is, and there are 15 recommended laws that the Advocates suggest every state adopt.
In the most recent edition of the report, the state of South Carolina received a “yellow” rating. The rating scale includes red, yellow and green. Red means that the state has a dangerous lack of basic safety laws that are recommended. Green means that the state has shown significant progress in adopting recommended optimal safety laws. South Carolina’s yellow rating means that the state’s performance in adopting safety laws has been “moderately positive.” While it is great news that South Carolina has at least made some progress, there are still several key areas where the state is lacking.
It is important for drivers to remember that even if the state hasn’t passed a certain driving safety law, motorists can still adopt the recommended best practices for safety on their own. Drivers are advised to always make smart and safe choices behind the wheel, and when they are careless or negligent, they can be held legally liable for crashes they cause. A Charleston accident lawyer can help victims to pursue legal action to impose this legal liability.
What Driving Safety Laws is South Carolina Missing?
In 2014, South Carolina enacted text messaging restrictions that apply to all drivers. This was an important step forward in terms of protecting motorists. However, even with the passage of this law, the state only has eight of the recommended regulations that are considered necessary to achieve maximum road safety. South Carolina is missing:
- A motorcycle helmet law that applies to all riders.
- A law requiring children to sit in booster seats until at least age 7.
- A law requiring teens to be at least 16 before getting a learner’s permit.
- A law imposing passenger restrictions on new teen drivers.
- A law imposing stronger cell phone restrictions on new teen drivers.
- A law making young people wait until age 18 to obtain an unrestricted license.
- An ignition interlock law that would require all drunk driving offenders to install a device in their vehicles that tests their blood alcohol concentration before a car starts.
The state should consider moving forward to pass some of these recommended safety regulations in order to reduce the number of deaths that occur on the roads. In 2013, there were 767 people killed in crashes in the state and the annual cost of collisions for South Carolina residents totaled $4.594 billion. If better safety regulations could reduce costs and lives lost, this would be great for state residents. If accidents do occur, victims need to speak with a Charleston car crash lawyer about their options for making sure those responsible for crashes cover the costs of the collisions.