Resolving to be a Better Boston Driver in 2014

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It's that time of the year. We've all said goodbye to 2013 and are working to make 2014 even better. With the beginning of a new year comes a time of reflection and improvement. Resolving to quit smoking or to spend more time in the gym is awesome, but we're asking you to make a New Year's resolution that can benefit the entire community -- to be a better driver.
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Did you know that in over 90 percent of automobile crashes, these 'accidents' are the result of human error - and therefore it appears we've still got a lot to learn. While there's no such thing as the 'perfect' driver, every motorist could improve an aspect of their driving, whether that's observation, planning, anticipation or hazard management, and in the process reduce their risk of becoming yet another road casualty statistic.

Our Boston car accident lawyers understand that roughly 10 million people are involved in car accidents annually. It's also the leading cause of death for teenagers in America according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There's no denying that car accidents cause needless injury and death, and devastation every year. We're targeting the big three in 2014, asking drivers to be more aware of drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving.

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Drivers Acknowledge Speeding Dangers, But Are They Slowing Down?

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Speeding while driving is dangerous behavior that could increase the chances of your vehicle losing control or rolling over when you go around a curve. A driver who is speeding is also going to have to hit the brakes sooner because the added momentum caused by excessive speed can significantly increase the stopping distance of your car. one-car-key-1149771-m.jpg

Because speeding is extremely risky for drivers, it should come as no surprise that going too fast plays a role in around a third of all car accidents that occur within the United States. Far too many serious injuries and deaths happen in these speeding-related car wrecks, with the NHTSA estimating that about 10,000 people across America die in speeding accidents every single year. These deaths could all be prevented if drivers simply drove the speed limit and traveled at a speed that was safe for conditions. Most drivers know the importance of obeying the speed limit, but unfortunately choose not to go at a safe speed even though they are aware of the risks.

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Should The Term "Car Accident" Be Used to Describe Crashes?

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Many major publications including the Boston Globe routinely use the term "car accident" to describe a collision that occurs between two vehicles or that occurs between a vehicle and a pedestrian. The use of this term is readily accepted and most people say "accident" to describe a crash without even really thinking about it. motorway-1198014-m.jpg

Recently, however, the DC Streets Blog published an article arguing that the use of the word "accident" was not appropriate to describe a traffic collision. The author's argument was that the term "accident" can imply 'that no one was at fault-- that traffic injuries and deaths are just random, unpreventable occurrences." Our Boston injury lawyers know that this is not an accurate representation of what collisions are, since they don't just happen but are instead caused by defective vehicles, dangerous road designs or bad decisions made by one or more motorists on the road. The use of the term "accident" to describe traffic collisions may not drive this point home, as reports of collisions that use the word "accident" could be seen as letting the responsible driver off the hook for his actions.

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Window Tinting, Accident Risks, and Massachusetts Law

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Window tinting is always in trend among young drivers, but can reduce visibility and ultimately increase the likelihood of an accident. Dirty windows and winter sun can make the going even more dangerous.

While Massachusetts does have some window tinting laws, custom tint is not illegal. Car owners, including parents, should be aware of the dangers of window tinting and drivers should remember that others on the road may not have full visibility. For most vehicles, window tinting that registers 35% on a tint meter is acceptable under Massachusetts law.

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Certain trends on vehicles can be dangerous, even deadly. Window tinting has been known to cause accidents and to conceal criminals when committing crimes. Our Boston car accident attorneys are experienced with representing the rights of our clients who have been injured or involved in an accident. We are dedicated to uncovering the cause of accidents, including negligence, defects, and other dangerous driver behavior.

Window tinting laws vary by state, however all states have some law about the visibility requirement in the vehicle. In addition to preventing accidents, states see window tint as a threat to police officers who cannot see inside when they approach a window. Despite even the toughest window tinting laws, many states have found it hard to completely enforce the requirements and keep drivers with illegal tint off the street.

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New Mothers at Risk of Distracted Driving Accidents

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Teens are often the earliest adopters of new technology and are well-known for always being on their phones. As a result, it is natural to assume that young people are more likely to text and drive than adults. The reality, however, is that new teen drivers may not be at the greatest risk of causing a distracted driving accident. Instead, evidence indicates that young adults and new mothers may actually be texting more behind the wheel than young teen drivers. smartphone-icon-1340911-m.jpg

Our experienced auto accident lawyers know that anyone, of any age, is significantly more likely to become involved in a car accident when texting as compared to someone who is not distracted. Texting can take your eyes away from the road for 4.6 seconds and can increase the chances of a crash by 23 percent. All motorists, therefore, need to make a strong commitment to put the phone down and stay off the phone while operating a motor vehicle.

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Winter Storms and Massachusetts Driving Safety

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Throughout Massachusetts and the Northeast, we have already seen the dangerous potential of winter storms, including reduced visibility, icy roads, and snowy highways. Whether you are taking a road trip or on your daily commute to work, it is important to remember winter safety when driving in the snow or in icy conditions. Learning how to break properly, being aware of other drivers, and knowing when it is too dangerous to get behind the wheel can help prevent accidents and keep your family safe.

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In addition to preparing your vehicle for winter weather, you should take precautions as a driver. Our Boston car accident attorneys are experienced in representing clients who have been injured in an accident. Winter can carry significant risks to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. Whether driving in the city, on a rural highway or traveling at high speeds on the interstate, be aware of the potential risks you may face this winter. Here are some tips to keep you prepared and safe when driving in winter weather.

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Winter Traffic Accidents in Boston - Safe Holiday Travels

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We have discussed the dangers of winter driving conditions in previous blogs, but what can you do to make sure your car is prepped for winter conditions? Ensuring that your car is operating safely and ready for snowy or icy conditions can help to prevent accidents and injury. Our car accident attorneys are experienced in representing individuals and families impacted by motor vehicle collisions. In addition to helping our clients recover financial compensation for their losses, we are also dedicated to keeping the community safe and informed to prevent future accidents.

Please do your part to stay safe through these long weeks of holiday travel.

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Winter driving conditions can create a number of hazards. You could face blinding snow, sleet covered or icy roads, or deep mounds of snow. Motor vehicles can be impacted freezing temperatures. Many cars will also encounter problems because of road salt, including clogs and other build-up. Whether you have already encountered a winter storm or you want to learn more about being prepared in the future, here are some tips to prepare your vehicle for winter weather conditions.

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NHTSA Polls Drivers on the Fast Track to Accidents

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Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released the "National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior". In this new survey, officials report about half of drivers say that speeding is a problem on U.S. roadways. On the other hand, about 20 percent of drivers admit "I try to get where I am going as fast as I can."
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This is a serious problem because speeding accounts for about a third of all traffic accident fatalities in the U.S. each year. From 2002 to 2011, speeding was a factor in about a third of all deadly accidents. These crashed claimed the lives of more than 123,000 people and cost society more than $40 billion each and every year.

Our car accident lawyers understand that we've all got places to be, but it's never a smart decision to put ourselves and innocent travelers in harm's way just because we're rushing. Throughout the busy holiday travel season, and particularly with dangerous winter driving conditions, we're reminding drivers to keep an eye on their speed, obey the posted speed limits, adjust your driving to accommodate the current weather and traffic conditions and to allow plenty of time to get to where you've got to be safely.

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Wintery Traffic Collision Takes Lives of Two Swampscott Men

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Two young men from Swampscott were killed in a Friday night car accident along Route 1A when their vehicle slammed into a home. It happened just before 7:00 a.m. The occupants of the car were extricated using hydraulic tools, according to the Revere Fire Department.
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The Boston Globe reported the vehicle was heading northbound and speed may have been a factor in the tragedy. One of the men was taken to Whidden Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The other was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was also later pronounced dead.

Our car accident lawyers in Revere know speed is a deadly risk out on our roadways, especially during this time of the year. With snow in our forecast, the roads are expected to be extra slick. With that, it's critical that drivers are on their best behavior behind the wheel to help to avoid winter-related car accidents. Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), urge drivers to prepare their vehicles for these conditions, including having winter car supplies. By following some simple safe driving tips and by using common sense when traveling near snowplows, drivers can help to ensure that they make their destination safety.

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Snowy Roads Blamed for Driver's Death

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Officers with the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) are looking into a single-car accident in Cambridge that killed a male driver. According to the Boston Herald, the accident happened just after 11:00 p.m. along Concord Turnpike when he veered off the road, slammed through a fence and ran into a building.
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Firefighters arrived on scene and worked to free the male drive, who was trapped inside the damaged vehicle. Witnesses suspect that it was the snow on the road that contributed to his accident. The accident is currently under investigation by troopers with the State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section and Crime Scene Services.

Our Cambridge car accident lawyers understand that it's a dangerous time to be on our roadways, not only because of the wintery weather, but also because of the holiday traffic. It's critical that drivers are on their best behavior behind the wheel to help to prevent what could turn out to be a fatal accident. Based on news media reports, there were at least 475 roadway fatalities as a result of icy roads in the U.S. throughout the 2008-2009 winter season, and at least 458 happened during the 2009-2010 winter season, according to IcyRoadSafety.com.

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Addressing Elderly Driving Safety in Massachusetts

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To help amp up Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are announcing a new road safety plan aimed at seniors.
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"This plan will help enhance safety for everyone by helping states address the mobility needs of their older drivers," said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Our Quincy car accident lawyers know, since 2003, the number of elderly licensed drivers has increase by more than 20 percent, to close to 40 million older licensed drivers recorded in the U.S. in 2012. During that year, there were close to 6,000 people over the age of 65 who were killed and another 215,000 who were injured in traffic accidents. That's a near 5 percent increase in the number of fatalities and a more than 15 percent increase in the number of injuries from the year before. One of the most important factors is that these elderly individuals are more likely to sustain serious injuries or die in a traffic accident than younger individuals -- even in low-severity accidents.

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Government Turns to Technology to Reduce Car Accidents Caused By Dangerous Choices

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Our Boston car accident lawyers know that many car accident injuries and deaths happen because drivers make bad choices when they are behind the wheel. In some cases, accidents cause harm to innocent victims because another driver has made the choice to drive drunk, speed or engage in other high risk behavior. In other instances, a motorist will increase the chances of becoming injured or killed in a crash by not wearing a seat belt. seatbelt-602535-m.jpg

Public safety campaigns and laws aim to encourage good behaviors, like wearing a seat belt, and to discourage bad behaviors like driving drunk. Unfortunately, these laws and the efforts to educate the public only go so far. Now, the Huffington Post is reporting that the government is speeding up research on car safety systems that could address some of the most dangerous choices that people make behind the wheel. When the research is complete and reliable technologies developed, hopefully many lives could be saved by the new technological advances.

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Passengers Have Complaints About High-Risk Driving Behaviors

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If you are a passenger in a car, you are at the mercy of the driver and depend upon him or her to make safe driving choices. Unfortunately, many passengers aren't happy with the way that their friends or loved ones drive, and many drivers are making choices that put passengers at serious risk of injury. taxi-pictogram-6-1104140-m.jpg

A recent Insure.com survey involved asking passengers who they found to be the most annoying driver and what behaviors the passengers found to be the most annoying. The results revealed that the things most passengers complain about were not mere annoyances, but instead were actions that significantly increase the risk of a crash. Our Boston car accident lawyers know that passengers have a right to take legal action if they are in a vehicle driven by a friend and that friend causes a crash and resulting injuries. However, it is far better to avoid a crash in the first place, and passengers should never hesitate to speak up if they find themselves in a car with someone who has made a high-risk choice.

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Massachusetts Rules Lead to Drop In Teen Accident Deaths For Surprising Reason

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With car accidents a top cause of death among teen drivers, states are continually looking for ways to make young people safer behind the wheel. Massachusetts passed several new requirements that aimed to reduce teen car accident deaths. small-car-1358439-m.jpg

The Massachusetts law, which was passed in 2007, more than tripled the number of hours that teens were required to spend driving under supervision before they could obtain their license. Car accident lawyers in Boston know that teens are now required to drive under their parent's supervision for 40 hours and must drive with an instructor behind the wheel for at least 12 hours (twice as long as the prior requirement). The law also imposed a requirement that parents attend a two-hour seminar in order for a driver under the age of 18 to get his or her license.

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NHTSA's Delay on Backover Accident Prevention Causes Concern

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with the important job of passing and enforcing rules and regulations designed to make cars safer. One of the regulations that the NHTSA was specifically told to pass was a new rule requiring rear-view cameras on all vehicles in order to reduce the risk of backover accidents. top-gear-30847-m.jpg

Car accident lawyers in Boston know that around 100 kids aged five and under die each year because of backover crashes. Backover accidents frequently occur when people are leaving driveways or pulling out of parking spaces, and backover accidents can be especially devastating to young children or the elderly. These accidents could be prevented if vehicles were equipped with rear cameras that allow drivers to see what is behind them, and in 2008, congress told the NHTSA to write a rule requiring the installation of rearview cameras.

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