Every year, more than 100,000 people get injured in some form of a road accident.
This number is staggering, a worrying trend that needs to be fixed.
You could reduce the number of fatal road accidents by following traffic rules. Sadly, this is easier said than done. Why? Most drivers tend to ignore traffic rules and fail to see their importance.
The Purpose of Traffic Rules
Local governments impose traffic rules for various reasons. The most important of which is to ensure your safety and that of others around you, including other pedestrians and drivers. Failure to follow these regulations can result in dire consequences.
Ignoring traffic regulations can cause injury and damage. What’s more is that it can result in monetary loss if you are sued when you cause a road accident. Take for instance, a driver that speeds through a stop sign and causes a collision; this individual could face a civil lawsuit, or criminal charges for causing an accident.
An Increase in Traffic on US Roads
In the US, road traffic increases by volume from June to August. This is because many individuals take advantage of the warm weather to move around. However, the past year has been quite different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
American residents wary of driving during the pandemic are now at ease to get out on the road. In fact, statistics from June 2021 showed an overall increase of up to 34 percent in road traffic.
With the summer months just around the corner, we expect traffic to increase significantly. Hence, it is paramount to stick to traffic rules for your safety, and the safety of others around you.
States with the Strictest Laws
With this in mind, this post will dive into the specifics of road traffic stats across the country. Specifically, it will analyze the states with the most heavily enforced traffic rules and rank them in order. First, we will start with a general analysis of the state of traffic around the nation. Have a read below.
Across all states, the most common traffic violation is speeding. In fact, statistics show that 10.59 percent of all drivers in the US have speeding violations on their record. Furthermore, a national survey shows that 22.45 percent of drivers from all states had some form of a traffic violation on their record. “States may enact heavy laws to combat the high number of traffic violations in their jurisdictions”says Charles E. Boyk of Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC. Finally, data shows that a lower density of traffic police officers translates to more traffic violations.
According to data from Insurify, below are the states with the most heavily enforced traffic rules. This data is sourced from driver insurance applications where drivers have to disclose whether they have violated any traffic rules on their record and their state of residence.
Starting off our countdown is the state of Idaho. The percentage of drivers with prior incidents from this state stands at 27.73, 1.24 times the national average. With a density of 26 police officers to every 10,000 drivers, Idaho ranks tenth in the states with the most heavily enforced traffic laws.
As of July last year, the state adopted a new law that made it illegal for individuals to drive while operating an electronic device. Finally, this state has the highest rates of DUIs, and it also ranks ninth with the highest rates of speeding in the country.
In Colorado, 28.14 percent had some form of traffic infraction on their record. The state ranks 9th in states with the most heavily enforced traffic laws, with 30 traffic officers per 10,000 drivers. Furthermore, it ranks eighth in speeding tickets despite the numerous mountain roads that should discourage speeding.
- South Carolina
South Carolina has the highest traffic fatalities per million miles traveled, making it the most dangerous state to drive. The percentage of drivers with prior traffic infractions is 1.26 times the national average standing at 28.27 percent. These are some reasons why the Palmetto state has adopted stringent traffic rules.
- North Dakota
North Dakota has the second-highest DUI citations and ranks sixth in speeding tickets. 28.64 percent of drivers had traffic infractions on the record, and the state has a ratio of 34 police officers to every 10,000 drivers.
Nebraska has the eighth highest number of DUIs and at-fault accidents in the United States. What’s more is that the state has the 10th highest speeding rate in the country. The percentage of drivers with prior incidents is 1.28 times higher than the national average, standing at 28.69 percent. Finally, the density of police officers to drivers in this state is 24 to every 10,000.
Starting our top five list is Wyoming, with 28.90 percent of drivers having a prior incident on their record. The state has a ratio of 29 police officers to every 10,000 drivers. What’s more is that it has the seventh-highest rate of speeding tickets and the eighth highest rate of red-light violations.
This state has the fifth-highest speeding citations in the country. Wisconsin has 29.06 percent of drivers with previous traffic infractions on their record and a police to driver ratio of 31 to every 10,000.
Iowa hands out 66 percent more speeding tickets to its drivers than any other state. It kickstarts our top 3 list with a police officer to driver ratio of 25 to every 10,000. Despite the stringent laws, the state reported increased speeding during the pandemic.
In recent years, this state has cracked down on its drivers, making it rank second in states with the heaviest traffic enforcement laws. The state has 29.82 percent of drivers with a previous record, 1.33 times the national average. Finally, it has an officer to driver ratio of 34 to every 10,000
This state has the lowest police to driver ratio on our list, with just 17 police officers to every 10,000 drivers. Furthermore, it ranks first on speeding, with 69 percent more speeders on its roads than the national average. At-fault accidents are also significantly higher since the state ranks seventh.
From the information presented above, one thing is clear: the ratio of police officers to drivers does not necessarily impact the safety of roads. What’s more is that the states with the heaviest laws also seem to have the highest rates of infractions.