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Massachusetts traffic accidents expected to post across-the-board declines in 2009

As our Boston injury lawyers await the release of Massachusetts traffic statistics for 2009, a look at the national statistics shows a decline in serious and fatal accidents across the board.

The number of fatal Massachusetts traffic accidents declined to 334 last year, from the 364 reported in 2008, according to the new statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Nationwide, 33,808 traffic fatalities were reported last year, compared to the 37,423 people killed in 2008. It was the fewest killed on the nation’s roads since 33,186 died in 1950.

Injury accidents and motorcycle fatalities also declined for the first time in a decade.

While safety officials were quick to credit enforcement efforts, including seat belt campaigns and anti-drunk driving efforts, other safety advocates also point to the downturn in the economy as a primary reason for the overall reduction in serious and fatal traffic crashes.

The Governors Highway Safety Association also points to the federal focus on distracted driving and the dangers of cell phone use and text messaging as a primary reason for the reduction.

It is very encouraging that fatalities have declined in all categories and vehicle types. It is also a sign of great progress that reductions were achieved in forty-one states,” said Executive Director Barbara Harsha. “Secretary LaHood’s focus on distracted driving has brought an unprecedented focus to behavioral highway safety, and as a result, lives are being saved.”

Traffic Fatalities: 33,808; down 9.7 percent from 37,423 Passenger Vehicles: 23,382; down 8.2 percent from 25,462 Large Trucks: 503; down 26 percent from 682 Motorcycles: 4,462; down 16 percent from 5,312 Pedestrians: 4,092; down 7.3 percent from 4,414 Bicyclists: 150; down 12 percent from 188
Injuries were also down in every accident category:

Total Injuries: 2.217 million; down 5.5 percent from 2.346 million Passenger Vehicles: 1.976 million; down 4.6 percent from 2.072 million Large Trucks: 17,000; down 26 percent from 23,000 Motorcycles: 90,000; down 6.3 percent from 96,000 Pedestrians: 59,000; down 14 percent from 69,000 Bicyclists: 51,000; down 1.9 percent from 52,000
If you have been injured in a Boston car accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident or pedestrian accident, contact Massachusetts Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.