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Study ranks states according to highway safety laws

Compared to other states, Tennessee ranks among neither the best or worst states when it comes to enforcing highway traffic safety laws according to a report by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The report examined state traffic laws concerning impaired driving, teen drivers, child safety, motorcycle helmet use and more. It recommended that all states adopt 376 laws that were identified as important for safety such as ones that address seat belt use in rear passengers and a primary seat belt law for front seat passengers. Several states did not enforce these seat belt regulations.

Fatalities from traffic accidents in 2015 experienced its largest percentage increase in 50 years. There was a 7.2 percent increase compared to 2014, and according to preliminary figures, in the first nine months of 2016, there was an increase of 8 percent compared to 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 35,000 traffic fatalities in 2015.

Rhode Island was ranked the highest for safety laws while South Dakota landed in last place. Other states that performed poorly included Arizona, Nevada, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Florida and Pennsylvania. Other high-ranking states included Oregon, Louisiana and Delaware.

Someone who is injured in a car wreck may expect compensation from insurance, but it might not be enough. If a person is injured due to another driver's negligence, he or she may want to file a lawsuit against the driver. It may not be necessary for the driver to have committed a criminal act for a civil lawsuit to be successful, and a civil suit can still be successful even if criminal charges were brought against the driver that ended up getting dismissed. For example, if a criminal court cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver was impaired, a civil lawsuit might be able to do so because the standard of proof is lower.

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