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Government priorities in Mass: Fewer motorcycle accidents, drunk driving accidents, distracted driving accidents involving young drivers

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements this week. The list will go to state governments, which are encouraged to use it in setting priorities. Our Boston injury lawyers note that many of the government’s priorities involve safety topics and risk factors we discuss here frequently.

“State governments are in a unique position to effect the most significant improvement in certain areas of transportation safety,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said. “Our Most Wanted List spotlights those states that have made noteworthy progress in better protecting the traveling public – and those that have not.”

Improve Motorcycle Safety

The number of fatal motorcycle accidents more than doubled from 1997 to 2008. Head injuries are the leading cause of death. The NTSB therefore recommends helmet laws. Currently 20 states require helmets for all riders. Twenty-seven states have partial helmet laws and three states — New Hampshire, Iowa and Illinois — have no helmet laws.

Massachusetts motorcycle accidents killed 41 riders in 2008.

Distracted Driving car accidents involving young drivers

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 20. Graduated Drivers License systems and more involvement from parents during the driver’s education process could help reduce the risks. Additionally, the government backs cell phone bans and text messaging bans for young drivers.

Better Child Occupant Protection
Nearly half of children ages 4 to 8 who are killed in car accidents are not properly restrained. The government recommends booster seats for children ages 4 to 8.

Primary Seat Belt Laws
More than half of the 23.000 occupants killed in car accidents last year were not wearing seat belts. Belts reduce the risk of serious or fatal injury by about half.

Eliminate Hardcore Drunk Driving Twenty-two years ago the nation’s deadliest drunk driving accident occurred when a driver slammed into a bus in Kentucky, killing 27 people. The driver had a history of drunk driving and a blood-alcohol level of .26. In the last decade, 81,000 have been killed by hard-core drunk drivers.

If you have been injured in an accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.