Advocates Releases 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws

  • January 18, 2017
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Contact: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415,

MEDIA ALERT:  Each State and DC Issued a Report Card Exposing Deadly Gaps in 15 Essential Highway Safety Laws

Register Now for the Live Webcast of the Report Release

Recent government data shows second year of alarming increases in traffic fatalities.  Every state legislature will be in session this year and every state is lacking critical traffic safety laws that could reverse this trend.

The 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws will name Best & Worst States

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Legislative Amnesia Affecting Efforts to Reduce Mounting Deaths and Injuries


NEWS CONFERENCE – Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety will release its 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, rating all 50 states and the District of Columbia on passage of 15 basic highway safety laws.

The report will identify the best and worst performing states on their highway safety laws spanning from impaired and distracted driving, child passenger safety, occupant protection (primary enforcement seat belt laws), motorcycle helmets, and teen driving.  The report will also provide state-specific data on deaths, injuries and related economic losses.

The new study comes as every state legislature is convening nationwide while traffic crash deaths are at their highest in seven years.  Yet, only a few states passed optimal lifesaving laws in 2016 – the lowest number since Advocates began publishing this report fourteen years ago. This year, Advocates upgraded the rating criteria which affects the overall and specific ratings of several states.

In 2015, more than 35,000 people were killed in crashes — a 7.2 percent increase over 2014.  Nearly 2.5 million others were injured.  On an average week in 2015, 673 people died in crashes — 67 more per week than the previous year.  And, preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the first nine months of 2016 saw a dramatic 8 percent jump in crash deaths compared to the same time period in 2015.

WHEN:            Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. EST

WHERE:          Reserve Officers Association – “Top of the Hill” Minuteman Ballroom, One Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC


Jacqueline Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Colleen Sheehey-Church, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), whose 18-year-old son Dustin died as a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver in their home state of Connecticut.

Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine; and Director, Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

Captain Tom Didone, Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department, who has devoted his 31-year career to highway safety.  Tragically, in 2008 his 15-year-old son Ryan died as a result of being an unbuckled rear-seat passenger in a car driven by a teenager who lost control and struck a tree.

Joan Claybrook, Consumer Co-Chair of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, President Emeritus of Public Citizen, and former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Bill Vainisi, Insurance Co-Chair of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company

Catherine Chase, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Victim advocates, law enforcement officials and state legislators will be available in a limited number of states for media interviews. Please inquire using the contact information above for availability.

LIVE WEBCAST of the news conference will be available here, with an opportunity for questions from media tuned in.

ELECTRONIC MEDIA KIT, including the 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, will be available on January 31, 2017, 12:01 a.m. EST at

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is a coalition of leading consumer, health, and safety organizations and insurance agents and companies that work together to advance state and federal highway and vehicle safety laws, programs and policies.

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