The National Safety Council recently released a report, The State of Safety, and its conclusions are not flattering for Kansas or its eastern neighbor, Missouri. The study looked at each of the 50 states’ laws, policies, and regulations and gave each state a “grade” based on how well these legislative and executive actions prevent accidental deaths and injuries from occurring. Missouri received the lowest scores of all 50 states – an “F
grade in the road, workplace, and home and community safety categories – but Kansas was not far behind. While the Sunflower State received a “B” in the road safety category, it received an “F” in both workplace safety (Kansas actually scored dead last in this category) and in home and community safety. Overall, eleven states including Missouri and Kansas earned an overall grade of “F”. No state earned a grade of “A.”
What this Study Says – and What It Does Not Say
Upon initially reviewing the findings of The State of Safety report, one might be tempted to conclude that both Missouri and Kansas are dangerous places in which to live. This is not necessarily true: the study makes its conclusions based upon the laws and regulations in existence in each state and determines the likelihood of an accidental injury or death if all individuals involved followed the laws of each state. So, for example, part of the reason Missouri earned an “F” grade for road safety is because the state has no law permitting law enforcement officers to pull drivers over for failing to wear a seat belt in the absence of another traffic violation.
Nonetheless, the study and the sources it used to reach its conclusions can suggest ways in which residents and visitors to the various states are more likely to find themselves injured. Moreover, just because a person may not violate the laws of a particular state does not mean that the person’s behavior cannot be considered negligent or careless. For instance, just because a highway in Kansas has a speed limit of 75 miles per hour does not mean that it is always wise and prudent to travel at such a speed in all conditions. During inclement weather or during a wildfire in which smoke covers the highway, traveling at 75 miles per hour may, in fact, be careless or even reckless.
Are Kansas Roads and Workplaces Safe?
Kansas – like other states – sees thousands of roadway and workplace accidents each year. Whether or not you or your loved ones become victims in such accidents depends not on the existence of sufficient laws and/or regulations but rather on whether in any given moment the individuals involved exercise good judgment and act in a careful, prudent manner. While compliance with the rules of the road or with workplace safety regulations can be evidence that a person acted reasonably in a situation, such evidence is not conclusive by any means. Even when the individual who caused your Kansas crash or accident was “law-abiding,” other evidence and circumstances might show that his or her behavior was nonetheless careless or reckless.
Call Your Kansas Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one find yourself injured on a Kansas highway, speak with Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless about your legal rights and whether you can recover compensation from the at-fault party. Do not believe that “lawful” behavior on the part of the at-fault party means you are not entitled to compensation. Before you accept a settlement or believe you need to pay for your expenses and losses yourself, call Michael R. Lawless, Attorney at Law at (800) 734-3771.