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Report gives governors a 'road map' for enhancing road safety

Road safety conditions in Illinois, as in the rest of the U.S., can be lacking. After years of decline, traffic fatality rates have recently been on the rise again. There was a 5.6 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016. That year, 39 states saw a rise in traffic deaths.

With this in mind, the National Governors Association has published a report emphasizing the key role that state governors play in reducing traffic deaths. The report doesn't simply encourage governors to act but actually gives concrete strategies for moving forward. Its policy development tools can be used entirely or in part, depending on the needs of each state.

The NGA states that governors should start by providing leadership among the various state agencies responsible for road safety. This could include the highway safety offices, which are located in every state and part of the Governors Highway Safety Association. This association assisted with the NGA report and continues to work with the agency to reduce traffic fatalities, hopefully to zero.

Governors can also identify any efforts that have already been made to improve traffic safety. Again, the report provides ways that governors could help strengthen these efforts.

Guidelines, however, cannot rule out negligence. A reckless driver can seriously hurt others in a car accident. An accident victim may retain a lawyer who could assess the claim, gather police reports and negotiate for a settlement out of court. The lawyer might hire accident reconstruction experts and other third parties if necessary. If negotiations fall through, the lawyer could litigate.

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