Study: D.C. best for traffic safety laws, South Dakota worst

Jan. 11, 2010

Washington, D.C., is best at adopting and maintaining traffic safety laws, while South Dakota is the worst, according to data release_notesd Monday by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS).

Eleven states, including Washington D.C., earned a “green” rating in the organization's seventh annual report card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance adopting and maintaining traffic safety laws. New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, New York and North Carolina also earned high marks, according to the AHAS report.

Nine states fell into the “red” rating, the worst grade for traffic safety laws. South Dakota was listed as the worst performing state, closely followed by Arizona, North Dakota, Wyoming, Virginia and Vermont.

The 2010 report featured the best- and worst-performing states based on a set of 15 model laws, which include provisions on adult occupant protection, child passenger safety, graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, impaired driving and distracted driving.

An all-driver text-messaging ban was new to the set of 15 model laws.

An annual average of 5.8 million motor vehicle crashes occur in the United States each year, which result in 40,000 fatalities and 2.3 million injuries with an economic cost of $230 billion, according to the AHAS report.

Visit for more information on the 2010 report.

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