Massachusetts Pedestrian Injuries - How Safe is Your Street?

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Federal lawmakers have introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 into the United States Senate. The goal is to reduce the number of pedestrian accident fatalities occurring across the country. caution-sign-541767-m.jpg

Pedestrian deaths have become a serious problem. From 2009 to 2012, there was an average 4.9 percent increase in pedestrian motor-vehicle deaths each year. The result is that deaths went up around 15 percent even as the overall number of traffic fatalities in other categories declined by three percent. The Safe Streets Act could improve conditions and bring this death toll down, but unfortunately it is unlikely to make any kind of real difference.

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Boston Traffic Accidents - Massachusetts' Top Violent Crime?

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For many people, the most important job of law enforcement is to prevent violent crimes. Some people believe that police should spend their time investigating murders rather than issuing tickets for drivers who go too fast or who run a stop sign. empty-road-1344295-m.jpg

The reality, however, is that police could perhaps save many more lives if the focus was on preventing traffic violence. Some cities are already recognizing the benefits of a focus on traffic crimes and undergoing a paradigm shift. Boston could benefit from doing the same.

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Auto Insurance Claims in Massachusetts: You are Not 'In Good Hands'

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Insurance is big business in the United States, with companies making $30 billion in profits a year. While you might believe that you are investing in your long-term security, it is just as likely that your insurance company is plotting against you. Whether you are filing a car insurance claim, health care insurance claim, or against a homeowners' insurance policy, remember that insurance carriers have a business designed to avoid payouts, even on legitimate claims. This can be especially frustrating if you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist -- as you may face another uphill battle with your own insurance company.
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To achieve the best results with your car insurance claim, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights. Our car accidents attorneys in Quincy understand the frustrations faced by our clients. In most cases, compensation is not only expected, but it is necessary. Whether you are looking to cover medical costs or recover compensation for a totaled vehicle, you need to be aware of your rights. The following is a summary of an analysis provided by a consumer rights group dedicated to keeping consumers aware of common tricks used by insurance companies to avoid paying out claims.

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Wearing Headphones Increases The Risk of Accidents

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Since 2004, serious injuries to pedestrians wearing headphones have more than tripled. Pedestrians who choose to wear headphones are unable to hear cars, bicycles and even trains approaching them. Without these important auditory signals, pedestrians are in serious danger of being run over and injured or killed. headphones-2-1374423-m.jpg

Massachusetts Law indicates that wearing headphones while driving a car is illegal, but there are no specific rules preventing bicycle riders or walkers from wearing headphones while they travel. As a result, many people fail to recognize just how dangerous this behavior is and they continue to walk or ride around distracted even as the death toll mounts.

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Google Efforts Increasing Risks of Distracted Driving?

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Google's recent lobbying efforts aim to stop proposed restrictions on driving while wearing Google Glass. Google Glass is a tiny computer screen that is mounted within a pair of eyeglasses and that keeps people connected at all times. 3d-glasses---34-view-1418072-m.jpg

With 660,000 drivers at any given daylight moment already using cell phones behind the wheel, it seems fairly clear that the last thing that we need is more people plugged in to electronic devices while driving. Eight states that recognize the serious danger that Google glass could present have thus begun to move forward to ban the use of the devices by drivers. Yet, Reuters reports that Google Inc. has hired lobbyists in at least three different states to try to defeat the restrictions.

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Estimates of 2013 Traffic Deaths Aren't as Positive as They Seem

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Both the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) release data on the estimated number of motor vehicle collisions that occur each year. While the NHTSA data for 2013 won't be tabulated and published for months, the NSC has already released some estimates of the number of collisions and traffic deaths last year. metal-570770-m.jpg

At first glance, data from NSC seems positive. The preliminary information shows a three percent decline in traffic deaths in 2013 as compared to 2012. However, a closer look at the numbers and the factors that led to the reduction in fatalities show that the roads may not really be getting all that much safer. Thousands still died in accidents last year, and the reduction in deaths likely has nothing to do with the fact that people drove any more carefully.

Those who lost loved ones in collisions or individuals who are victims of accidents should understand their legal rights and take action after the crash. A Boston injury attorney can help those who have been harmed by a traffic accident.

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Advice for Parents to Prevent Prom-Season Accidents

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Prom season is one of the most dangerous times on the road. As many as three accidents out of every five during prom weekends involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol, and the death toll rises for teens during the prom period from March through June. Drunk drivers out on prom night aren't the only ones who can be devastated by accidents. Boston.com recently told the stories of multiple families affected by fatal collisions and accidents causing serious injuries during prom season. One woman, for example, lost her mother and sustained injuries that cost her more than $400,000 to treat. friendship-796295-m.jpg

These stories are designed to discourage teens from drinking, as are efforts by school officials to discourage drunk driving and instead participate in safe activities after the big dance. Unfortunately, despite the awareness of drunk driving dangers, studies have demonstrated that around 70 percent of high school students think their peers are probably going to drive drunk on prom night. Parents need to do their part to try to prevent this unsafe behavior before a bad decision on prom night destroys countless lives. Victims of collisions also need to understand their rights and should contact a Boston car accident lawyer.

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Is the Government Doing Enough to Reduce Child Accident Deaths?

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In recent government reports touting a decline in child traffic deaths over the past decade, the government gives itself a lot of credit. Unfortunately, while it is true that there has been a decline in the number of kids dying in accidents,the government could be doing a lot more to prevent child deaths in motor vehicle collisions seat-424212-m.jpg

The sad fact is that motor vehicle collisions continue to take the lives of hundreds of kids each year, and there is a long way to go to improve safety for young passengers. The death of even one child in a car crash is a devastating loss for a family, and victims should consult with a Boston car accident lawyer for legal help.

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How the Insurance Industry is Avoiding Paying Your Car Accident Claim

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The U.S. insurance industry has average profits exceeding $30 billion annually. This money comes from people who pay premiums to transfer the risk of loss and to buy protection from financial harm. tips-cup-126301-m.jpg

When you buy car insurance, you don't do it to boost the insurer's bottom line--- you do it because you expect the insurer is going to treat you fairly and take care of your losses if you get into a collision. Unfortunately, the American Association for Justice has recently published an in-depth report revealing some of the underhanded and dishonest tactics that insurers use to try to get out of paying you the money you deserve when you make a claim.

The report confirms yet again that you cannot trust an insurer to look out for your interests. When you are hurt in an accident, you need to talk to an experienced Boston injury lawyer who can help you to make a motor vehicle collision claim and get full and fair compensation you deserve.

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Elderly Driver Safety in Focus this WInter

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As we age, it's normal for our driving abilities to change. By reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practices, many of us can continue driving safely long into our senior years. It even more important to focus on these risks factors and bettering our driving during the dangerous winter driving season. With snowy and icy roadways, our risks for accidents increase, especially for elderly drivers.
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As a group, seniors age 80 and older have the highest rate of fatal crashes per mile driven -- even higher than for teens -- according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS). About 5,500 adult drivers age 65 and older die each year in vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's double the number of teens killed annually in vehicle crashes.

Our Cambridge accident lawyers note it's important for seniors to take honest stock of their own driving abilities. As we age, we see significant changes in our bodies. Over time your joints may get stiff and your muscles weaken. It can be harder to move your head to look back, quickly turn the steering wheel, or safely hit the brakes. When involved in an accident, elderly bodies react much differently than younger ones. And elderly people are more susceptible than younger people to medical complications following motor vehicle crash injuries.

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New Negland Snowmobile Accident Highlights Winter Risks

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A snowmobile driver was killed in a recent accident after slamming into a parked vehicle, according to the Boston Globe. The Everett man was pronounced dead at Central Maine Medical Center.
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The accident is still being investigated, but officials believe that alcohol and speed may have been factors.

Our personal injury lawyers in Quincy note in 2013 there were more than 144,000 snowmobiles sold worldwide; close to 50,000 were sold in the U.S. and more than 44,000 were sold in Canada. There are close to 1.5 million snowmobiles registered in the U.S., according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.


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Traffic Accidents in Quincy Getting Worse

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Car accidents in Quincy are becoming increasingly common, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig. At the same time, law enforcement officials in the area say that they aren't too concerned with the more than 4 percent increase. In 2012, a decade low of about 1,150 accidents happened, which rose to more than 1,170 last year.
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"At some point it was going to level out, so we might see it fluctuate up and down for a while now," said Quincy Police Officer Neal Meyer.

Our car accident lawyers in Quincy understand that this isn't all bad news. Since 2004, the total number of traffic accidents has dropped more than 29 percent. In the last nine years, the number of accidents has dropped from the previous year in seven of them. Still, Meyer continues to keep his eyes on the city's accident statistics and points out that the inclement weather experienced throughout the year may have been the cause of the increase in traffic collisions. In 2013, there were more than 225 accidents that happened on snowy or icy streets. That's a more than 97 percent increase from the previous year.

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Accused Drunk Driver Strikes Pedestrian in Lawrence

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A 24-year-old from Lawrence man was fighting for his life in Beth Israel Hospital in Boston after being hit by a pickup driven by a 21-year-old from Kensington. According to The Salem News, the young driver was charged with drunk driving.
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The pedestrian, at Warren and Haverhill streets, was tossed about 20 feet in the air and sent about 100 feet after being hit by the pickup just after 9:00 p.m. Hospital reports indicate that the pedestrian was in "extremely critical condition", suffering from serious head injuries and brain swelling.

According to officers, they smelled both urine and alcohol on the driver when they spoke with him after the Lawrence pedestrian accident. The driver explained that he had two beers in Haverhill while at Hans Harden. According to the sobriety tests, it was determined that the young driver had a BAC of .17, more than twice the legal limit.

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FMCSA Addresses Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Prevention

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According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), close to 1,500 cargo tank rollovers are reported each year. That's an average of about 4 rollovers each and every day.
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It's important that we understand a few key factors in preventing these kinds of accidents. The FMCSA has launched "Keep the Load on the Road" resource, an educational video to provide us with the safe-driving habits we need to prevent these kinds of accidents.

Our Boston accident lawyers understand that more than half (56 percent) of these accidents happen on straight roads -- not on curves or on ramps. About a third of these accidents occur during the daylight, rather than during nighttime hours. More than 90 percent of these rollover happen on dry roads as well. Rollovers can happen at any time, so drivers can never be too comfortable behind the wheel.

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New England Traffic Safety: NTSB Updates Most Wanted List

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Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board recently released the Most Wanted List for 2014. The list includes the top awareness and advocacy priorities for the agency this year. For the first time ever, many of these focus points include improving operational safety in rail mass transit.
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There are millions of Americans, many right here in Boston, who rely on light rail, subways and commuter rail on a regular basis. In the last year, officials with the NTSB have opened investigations into accidents involving a number of transit authorities throughout the nation. In many of these investigations, officials have found that there's a serious need for some safety improvements.

Our accident lawyers in Massachusetts understand that each year, there are more than 35,000 fatalities on various transportation systems throughout the nation. That right there is enough to put public transportation on the NTSB's Most Wanted List. But that's not the only addition to the list this year. Officials have also added helicopter operations to the list. From January of 2003 to May of 2013, there were close to 1,500 helicopter accidents recorded in the U.S.

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