Every state enacts and enforces its own traffic safety laws which can result in quite a variance around the country. From drunk driving to speed limits and more, there are many areas in which some states may provide stronger protections for citizens than others. Forbes provided details about a report issued by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety which rated every state and the District of Columbia for safety based on their enacted traffic laws. Virginia was one of 12 states to receive a failing grade.
The group developed what it called the 2020 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. In determining the grades for each state, laws relating to distracted driving, child safety seats and restraints, teen and novice driving programs, and all passenger safety belt use were reviewed and assessed. Only seven green ratings, the highest, were issued. Washington, D.C. was the only recipient of such a grade that is in any proximity to Virginia.
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that Virginia has seen an increase in traffic deaths over the last several years. In 2014, there were 703 recorded traffic fatalities in Virginia. The following year, that number jumped to 754 and in 2016, 760 deaths occurred in traffic accidents across the state. A more startling increase was seen in 2017 when 839 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. The number of vehicular fatalities dropped slightly in 2018 to 820 but stayed well above the number of deaths experienced in 2016 and before.
With an estimated 100 daily vehicular fatalities nationwide, stronger laws may be an important way of saving lives.