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Research shows just how valuable more restrictive road rules can be

Given all that we now know about the causes of motor vehicle accidents and what can be done to prevent them from occurring, most people would logically conclude that the majority of the states have similar traffic laws on the books, such that there is some degree of uniformity about things like speed limits, seat belts and graduated teen licensing programs.

As it turns out, this is far from the case, as the 50 states vary considerably when it comes to the rules of the road. For example, while the maximum speed limit on rural highways here in Rhode Island is 65 miles-per-hour, it ranges from 75- to an astonishing 85-miles-per-hour on rural highways in Texas.

While it can be tempting to simply dismiss these differences, consider that a recent study by the Auto Insurance Center determined that those states with more restrictive driving laws saw far fewer motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious personal injuries and fatalities.

To illustrate, consider that the researchers found that speed was responsible for an average of up to two fatalities per 100,000 car crashes in Rhode Island and an average of 3.6-plus fatalities per 100,000 car crashes in Texas.

In light of sobering statistics like these, questions naturally arise as to whether anything could ever be done to create some system of uniform traffic safety laws across the nation, something that could conceivably save many lives.

While this might seem like it would require a herculean effort on the part of state governments, the group known as the Advocates for Highway and Traffic Safety have determined that if all 50 states passed uniformly restrictive laws in 15 categories -- covering everything from texting while driving to speed limits -- the roads and highways would indeed become that much safer.

Even more interesting, they indicated that it would require the passage of a mere 319 traffic laws to accomplish this.

Here's hoping lawmakers across the nation continue to do their best to work toward this admittedly difficult yet achievable goal.

If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can examine your situation, explain the law and pursue justice on your behalf.

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