Oregon and Washington ranked highest and North Dakota lowest in the semi-annual rating of roadway safety by the Illinois-based Emergency Nurses Association. The group cited Minnesota, Arkansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin for making progress. Tennessee was rated third highest, and Arizona, Idaho, Iowa and South Dakota joined North Dakota at the bottom. The group examines roadway safety laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and scores each based on 14 criteria. For the first time, the report includes a distracted driving law among the criteria.
The criteria include seat belt use; child passenger safety; graduated driver licensing for teens; all-rider motorcycle helmet requirements; ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving, and cellphone and wireless device use. States receive one point for each type of legislation. With 14 points each, Oregon and Washington were the only states to receive the best possible score for the second time in a row. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia either enacted laws since the 2008 report that improve their scores or already had in their statutes additional laws consistent with ENA criteria. Twelve states–Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia–showed no progress from 2008 to 2010 in meeting ENA criteria.