Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Increases Accident Risk

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While daylight savings time signals the beginning of spring and longer hours in the evening, reports indicate that setting clocks forward can increase the risk of traffic accidents. Research shows that the sudden reduction in sleep can make humans more prone to health risks and accidents. This spring, be wary of the impact of how lost sleep can impact driving ability and remember that other drivers on the road may be suffering from lack of sleep as well.

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The loss of sleep is widely known to reduce driver response time and abilities when on the road. Driver fatigue has been linked to thousands of catastrophic and deadly accidents. Our Boston car accidents attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and in reducing the number of accidents on the road. We are also committed to raising awareness to improve driver safety and prevent car-related injuries and fatalities.

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Prevent Motor Vehicle Deaths By Cracking Down on All Dangerous Drivers

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Motorists who cause fatal collisions because they drive recklessly frequently face criminal charges for their actions. Unfortunately, by the time these drivers are punished for their dangerous choices behind the wheel, a death has already occurred. While police can arrest someone for reckless or drunk driving even in cases where no accident has happened, these types of arrests and prosecutions are far less common. police-cruiser-1066864-m.jpg

Harvard law professor and noted constitutional and criminal attorney Alan Dershowitz recently wrote on Op-Ed for the New York Daily News suggesting that cracking down on all dangerous drivers would be one of the best ways to stop fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. Dershowitz argues that police are generally not interested in responding to reports of reckless driving unless a collision has occurred. As a result, most people get away with reckless driving and laws preventing it aren't really very effective at saving lives or making the roads safer.

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Boston Bicyclists & Risk of Road Rage

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Cyclists are getting more attention from road designers and politicians as bike safety becomes a bigger priority. Unfortunately, not everyone is embracing the increasing bike-friendly culture and not everyone is excited about bicycles increasing in popularity as a means of commuting. Reports of anti-cyclist hate abound, leading to articles titled Why You Hate Cyclists, and 14 Reasons Why We hate Cyclists. no-bicycles-1161065-m.jpg

Unfortunately, drivers venting their rage at bicycle riders is not just a harmless way to let off steam. When drivers become angry at riders or question the right of bicyclists to share the road, these drivers put bicycle riders in danger. Drivers who dislike bicycle riders might fail to yield the right of way, might pass too close to cyclists, might not respect the bike lane and might not look carefully for bicyclists in their path before they open the door.

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Jaywalking Enforcement Helps Reduce Boston Pedestrian Injuries

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Mayor de Blasio has made it his goal to reduce pedestrian accident deaths in New York City -- with an ultimate aim of zero fatalities. A big part of the effort being made centers around giving more jaywalking tickets. This is not a new idea, as CBS reported that Mayor Menino's efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths in Boston in 2010 included an effort to obtain permission for the city to write bigger tickets for jaywalking. pedestrian-crossing-box-1193996-m.jpg

Jaywalking is unquestionably dangerous, as drivers should not cross against the signal or walk out in front of cars when doing so is not safe. Police cracking down on the behavior could also be effective as a deterrent to prevent jaywalkers from breaking the rules of the road. However, with finite police resources, it is also important that law enforcement continue efforts to stop the most dangerous driving behaviors, including driving distracted or impaired.

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Massachusetts Trucking Accident Risks - Electronic Log Books Reduce Fraud, Fatigue

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Hours-of-service rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are designed to limit the amount of time truckers can drive. The goal of these limits (which prohibit driving for more than 11 hours per day and require a 34-hour rest break after 60 hours of driving in a week) is to prevent drowsy driving crashes. Unfortunately, the rules are often difficult to enforce and truckers still too often drive when they are fatigued. fractured-time-1435044-m.jpg

In an effort to try to make the hours-of-service rules easier to enforce, and thus more effective, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a new proposed rule that would require the use of electronic logbooks for the commercial bus and trucking industry. The FMCSA believes that this would cut down on burdensome paperwork requirements and would help to reduce the risk of truck collisions.

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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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