Pennsylvania Traffic Safety Has Room For Improvement

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Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently handed Pennsylvania a yellow ranking for the state’s traffic safety laws, not the worst ranking possible, but not the best either. The automobile accident attorneys of Handler Henning & Rosenberg, in addition to calling upon lawmakers to do their part to improve safety, are offering tips so that citizens can keep potential hazards at bay.

Residents throughout the Commonwealth can take certain steps to protect themselves and others on the road

The passage of traffic laws tends to occur at a snail’s pace. Although citizens have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a safe manner on the road, sometimes laws struggle to keep up with the latest trends and research findings.

A group called Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has come out with a report on the various traffic laws across the United States, and their findings in regard to Pennsylvania’s laws are eye-opening. The state received a yellow rating due to its adoption of some measures, but notable lack of others, that the safety group believes could protect citizens.

While much of the current media attention is focused on things like distracted driving, this report shows that there is work to be done in other regards as well. The attorneys of Handler Henning & Rosenberg have seen firsthand the repercussions of actions that are technically within the bounds of the law, but are still patently unsafe, and they hope this report can serve as a warning to citizens.

“We applaud the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety for putting together this important safety report,” said W. Scott Henning, one of the firm’s foremost representatives of auto accident cases. “Clearly, there is still work to be done in Pennsylvania. It may be some time before legislators put together a plan to address these possible shortcomings but, in the meantime, residents throughout the Commonwealth can take certain steps to protect themselves and others on the road.”

To that end, Handler Henning & Rosenberg has analyzed the laws missing from the books that could be enacted to improve safety, and the firm is offering tips on how citizens can boost safety until the appropriate legislation is adopted:

1. It’s Time To Graduate- Currently, the state of Pennsylvania lacks certain rules that would place limits on a teenager’s driving behavior. Teens can get their full driver’s license before they reach the age of 18, and once they reach the appropriate age, they’re also able to operate vehicles at night and use cellphones in a potentially unsafe manner.

That said, parents can still establish ground rules in order to protect their teens. Place limits on the hours that teens can drive and the number of passengers they’re allowed to transport. Explain that cellphone and driving privileges may be taken away if they text or talk while driving. This can be accomplished through a driving contract that lays out expectations and rights.

2. Take The Helm- Motorcyclists above the age of 21 are legally able to doff their helmets if they have sufficient experience or have demonstrated their prowess through the completion of a motorcycle safety course.

But no matter what the law says, motorcyclists should still be willing to put on a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation. In addition, riders should look into various other types of riding gear that can further boost safety. That includes eyewear, gloves, and riding leathers that can prevent road rash during a collision.

3. If The Belt Fits- Although it is currently illegal to not wear a seatbelt in the state of Pennsylvania, that action will not get citizens a ticket unless they’re pulled over for another violation.

Still, the seatbelt is there for a reason. Use it. After airbags, seatbelts are perhaps the best defense against serious injuries, or even a fatality, during a collision. Furthermore, make sure all passengers are wearing seatbelts so that they don’t themselves become projectiles during a crash.

4. Interlock It Down- Pennsylvania currently lacks the legislative framework to require all persons convicted of a DUI to get an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. These products can prevent someone from operating their automobile until they breathe into a breathalyzer device to prove they’re not intoxicated.

Until the law changes, the key to safety is simple: don’t drink while intoxicated. Always have a designated driver ready to go when you’re drinking alcohol, and never get behind the wheel if you’re buzzed. Even buzzed driving is not acceptable.

The lawyers of Handler Henning & Rosenberg have been assisting injured parties for more than 90 years. W. Scott Henning and the rest of the firm’s attorneys offer representation to those injured in a host of practice areas, including automobile accidents, defective medical devices, premises liability, dog bites, and more. Injured parties seeking help with their injury claims may call to obtain a free consultation or pay a visit to the auto accident law page to learn more about the firm’s services.

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Becky S. Voras
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