Call for Pennsylvania to Enact Better Driver Safety Laws
March 26, 2015
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) have issued their annual examination of state highway laws and their recommendations for states to make their roadways safer. Now in its twelfth year, the report calls on Pennsylvania to enact a number of stricter laws to reduce the amount of car accident injuries and deaths.
Increase Seatbelt Violation from a Secondary Offense to a Primary Offense
Currently, seat belts are required but are considered a secondary offense, meaning drivers must be pulled over for another reason in order to be cited for not wearing a seatbelt. AHAS states that 136 less car accident fatalities would have occurred in 2012 if seat belts had been used 100% of the time. Studies show that seat belt usage increases by 10-15% when it is made a primary offense. Additionally, the use of seat belts reduces fatal car accidents by seven percent.
Require Motorcyclists to Wear Helmets at all Times
In Pennsylvania, motorcyclists who are over 21 and have two years riding experience, or have completed a safe riding course, may ride without a helmet. According to the AHAS, 39 motorcyclists’ lives would have been saved if they were wearing helmets in 2012. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are a vital component in reducing motorcycle fatalities. Wearing a helmet lowers the chance of a motorcycle injury turning into a motorcycle fatality by 37% for the driver of the motorcycle, and by 42% for motorcycle passengers.
Place Tougher Restrictions on Young Drivers
There are a number of restrictions the AHAS recommends placing on younger drivers to reduce the likelihood of car accidents. The first is to ban all cellphone and smartphone usage while driving, including hands-free, for drivers under the age of 18. AHAS also recommends that supervised driving hours should be extended to 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. as opposed to the current hours of 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Lastly, AHAS suggests that no one under the age of 18 should be permitted to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license.
Prevent Repeat DUI Offenses
AHAS endorses the installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) in the vehicles of drivers after their first DUI conviction. Currently, Pennsylvania only requires repeat drunk driving offenders to install an IID. An IID is a breathalyzer built into the dash of the car and will not allow the car to be started if it detects alcohol on the breath of the driver.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Nerenberg & Associates Pursue Compensation for Victims of Pennsylvania Car Accidents
Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Nerenberg & Associates will work tenaciously for any compensation you are entitled to receive for your car accident injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers, call us at 215-569-9100 or contact us online. Our Pennsylvania accident lawyers have offices in Center City Philadelphia and we serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County, as well as in New Jersey.