Florida ranks among worst states for highway safety laws

State lacks certain texting restrictions, helmet laws


ORLANDO, Fla. – A new report ranks Florida among the worst states for highway safety laws.

As of this month, Florida ranked No. 4 for having among the fewest highway safety laws in the nation, according to a report by The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety. 

If a state received a "red" rating, it indicates it is one the worst states for highway safety and is not up to the standards of the Advocates’ optimal laws. States receive a red rating if they have fewer than seven laws and are without primary enforcement of both front and rear seat belt laws. 

With just five laws, Florida lacks a rear primary enforcement seat belt law, an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, a rear-facing child through age 2 law, a booster seat law, a minimum age of 16 for receiving a learner's permit, nighttime and passenger restrictions and age 18 for unrestricted license for teen drivers, ignition interlocks for all offenders, all-driver text messaging restriction and graduated driver licensing cell phone restriction.

Here is a full list of the worst states for highway safety laws:

1. South Dakota -- two laws
2. Wyoming -- three laws
3. (tie) Arizona -- four laws
3. (tie) Missouri -- four laws
3. (tie) Montana -- four laws
4. (tie) Florida -- five laws
4. (tie) Ohio -- five laws
5. (tie) Nebraska -- six laws
5. (tie) New Hampshire -- six laws
5. (tie) Vermont -- six laws
5. (tie) Virginia -- six laws

If a state received a "green" rating, it indicates it is one of the best states for highway safety, which have 11 to 16 highway safety laws, including both primary enforcement seat belt laws, or nine or more laws, including both primary enforcement seat belt laws and an all-rider helmet law. 

A state without a primary enforcement seat belt law covering passengers in all seating positions, including front and rear, or that has repealed an existing all-rider motorcycle helmet law within the last  10 years is not eligible for a "green" rating, regardless of the number of highway safety laws it has in place.

Here is a full list of the best states for highway safety laws:

1. Rhode Island -- 13 laws
2. (tie) Delaware -- 11 laws
2. (tie) Oregon -- 11 laws
2. (tie) Washington -- 11 laws
3. (tie) California -- 10 laws
3. (tie) District of Columbia -- 10 laws
4. Louisiana -- nine laws

Also, a report released this week shows that Florida is the deadliest state for pedestrians, and the Orlando metropolitan area is also the worst city in the country for pedestrian deaths.