(NEW YORK) -- Dozens of states have failed to pass or enforce life-saving driving laws, a new highway safety report card released on Tuesday finds. And that's one reason why U.S. highway deaths jumped more than 7 percent last year.
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety notes that since safety law recommendations were approved in the 1970s, the best states have just 12 of the 15 laws in place. Six states -- South Dakota, Mississippi, Arizona, Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming -- have the fewest ideal highway safety laws and some of the highest numbers of fatal accidents.
"This is a highway crash epidemic that effects every state, every year; we are losing more than 33,000 people a year in highway crashes," says the group's president, Jackie Gillian.
And it's not just a state issue, as she points out.
"A motto that people use in those states [is], 'Let those who ride decide'. My version of that is, 'Let those who pay have a say,'" says Gillian, who notes that all drivers ultimately pay the cost for highway accidents.
"This isn't really just an individual right, this is something that all of us are paying for. ...The costs for one year is over $230 billion, which translates into a crash tax of $750 dollars for every person in the United States," she explains.
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