- Laws such as seatbelts, speed limits, distracted driving, and drunk driving are imposed to protect people from car accidents.
- NHTSA reported that in 2019 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide.
- Driver error and negligence are the leading causes of car accidents in the US.
- Autonomous vehicle laws, driver vision tests, stricter child seat laws, and stricter DUI penalties are being debated for future safety regulations.
- Everyone should always remain alert and follow traffic rules for their safety.
Every year, car accidents cause thousands of deaths and injuries. The risks are real whether you’re a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian. Fortunately, laws and regulations are designed to protect you and prevent accidents. Here’s what you need to know about vehicular accidents in the U.S., certain laws that you protect it from it, and future laws being debated upon to further protect people from such accidents.
Car Accidents in The U.S.
In the United States, car accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury. The NHTSA reported that 2019 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes – a decrease from the 37,806 deaths reported in 2018.
The most common cause of car accidents in America is driver error or negligence. Factors contributing to car accidents include distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Legislation Protecting You From Car Accidents
The government has enacted several laws to protect people on the road from accidents caused by negligent drivers.
Seat Belt Laws
Wearing a seatbelt while operating a vehicle is one of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Every state has mandatory seat belt laws that require you to wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car. Not only is it crucial for safety, but failing to wear a seatbelt can also result in a traffic violation, fines, and even points on your license.
Another crucial law that helps protect you from car accidents is speed limits. Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Staying within the designated speed limit is essential to avoid collisions and crashes from speeding. Speed limits provide safe driving conditions and give drivers sufficient time to react to obstacles and changes in road conditions.
Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do while operating a vehicle. To prevent distracted driving, laws prohibit texting while driving, using cell phones, eating, and anything else that could take your eyes or hands off the wheel. Violating these laws can result in hefty fines and lead to accidents that could cause severe injuries and fatalities.
Drunk Driving Laws
Drunk driving is one of the most severe and dangerous forms of driver negligence. It is illegal for drivers to operate a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to being a criminal offense, DUI and DWI are serious accidents waiting to happen. In many states, you can be arrested for drunk driving even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit, especially if the police determine you are not in stable driving conditions.
Additionally, it’s important to know that certain officers might mistakenly charge you with a DUI/DWI if they suspect any level of intoxication. In this case, you can hire an experienced DUI lawyer to protect your rights and help ensure justice is served fairly. They can represent you in court and help decrease your chances of receiving a criminal conviction.
Future Laws & Regulations
As technology advances, the government is working to create more laws and regulations to protect people from car accidents. Here are four future laws and regulations that you should know about:
Autonomous Vehicle Laws
With the introduction of autonomous vehicles, more rules and laws are being proposed to ensure safety. The federal government is working on legislation to regulate the operation of driverless cars and set standards for design, construction, performance, and maintenance.
Driver Vision Tests
In many states across America, people must pass a vision test to obtain or renew their driver’s licenses. In the future, this law could become stricter with more frequent check-ups and restrictions on drivers with impaired vision.
Child Seat Laws
Most states require children under a certain age to be secured in an appropriate child seat while riding in a car. As the technology for safety seats advances, future laws might require additional restraints for more minor children, like five-point harnesses or booster seats.
Stricter DUI Penalties
Recently, there has been a push to increase the penalties for drunk driving offenses. The government is considering enacting harsher punishments such as higher fines, longer jail sentences, and vehicle confiscations for drivers convicted of DUI or DWI.
These laws and regulations are designed to protect you from car accidents, but it’s also essential for you to exercise responsibility when driving. Always remember to stay alert and follow the rules of the road!