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City of Boston Strives for Crash Prevention

A recent news article from the Boston Herald takes a look at the city of Boston’s new plan to prevent a significant number of serious or fatal car accidents though the use of cutting edge technology at a citywide traffic management center.  The idea is that it is better to work towards to preventing crashes than merely having a fast response to crashes that have already occurred.

crosswalk1The theory is to rely on new and existing data collection methods to determine when a where a crash is likely to occur and make changes to the traffic patterns or step up traffic enforcement in those areas to prevent these crashes from happening.One of the ways the city hopes to accomplish this is by working with the makers of the Waze app.  These days most people use some type of GPS in their car.  Very few people rely on paper maps anymore.  While some use the GPS navigation system in their vehicle, many more are relying on GPS apps on smartphones.

Waze is an app that not only provides turn-by-turn navigation but also allows users to mark where police are running radar or laser, the location of broken down vehicles, and the app itself can mark the location of traffic slowdowns and minor or major accidents.   The owners of the Waze app are now partnering with emergency management personnel in Boston and cities and states across the country so this data can be used to make changes necessary to prevent many of the accidents.

As our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, even though most car accidents are the result of negligence, there are certain traffic patterns or road conditions that make an accident more likely to occur.  For example, there are many merges and exit lanes on roads and highways that could be better marked.  This increases the chance that a driver who is not paying attention may not be in the proper lane.  This driver may make a dangerous maneuver at the last second to get in the right lane, and this can result in an accident.  While it is true that the driver was negligent in not paying attention and making a dangerous maneuver, marking the lanes better and putting up better signage may limit the number of similar accidents.

However, this does not mean the driver who caused the accident has a case against the municipality for not marking the lanes better.  In some cases, he or she will have a case, but there must a be a showing that the municipality knew or should have known the area was dangerous and did not take proper steps to correct the problems.  Additionally, when you attempt to sue a state or local government, you may have to deal with the issue of sovereign immunity. This is a statutory measure put in place to limit the liability of municipal governments under the theory that they could not perform much needed services if they were constantly in fear of being sued in the event of a personal injury.

If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Boston aims for crash prevention, April 9, 2017, By Jordan Graham, Boston Herald

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