Distracted driving, drunk driving, among leading causes of Massachusetts car accidents

As a Washington D.C. distracted driving day-long summit drew to a close Sept. 21, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prepared to release a pair of glowing reports tracking ongoing seat-belt usage and minimum age drinking law efforts. But pre-empting the publication of those reports, a controversy erupted over a pair of studies that question the effectiveness of anti-texting laws, much to the ire of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Considering Massachusetts is the 30th state to ban texting while driving as of Oct. 1, our Boston car accident lawyers have been monitoring the uproar over two recent distracted driving studies published by the Institute for Highway Safety and its sister organization, the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The IIHS and HLDI reports suggest that the state-by-state adoption of laws banning texting while driving has had, at best, a negligible impact on the number of car accidents nationwide. In response, Secretary LaHood, whose department has been aggressively pursuing a multi-layered, multi-agency approach to curbing the use of handheld electronics while driving, angrily blogged about the findings, calling the IIHS claims “misleading” while saying the HLDI report included “numerous flaws”.

And a handful of national agencies are backing his criticism, from Allstate Insurance to the American Automobile Association to the National Safety Council. Each organization generated their own press release questioning the findings of both studies while expressing support for texting bans while driving as an effective tool for safer driving and saving lives.

With that said, two NHTSA reports released this week addressed those very topics. The dual reports revealed that more than 12,500 lives were saved in 2009 just by passengers and drivers buckling up, and 309 toddlers were spared thanks to proper child restraint use. Statistics further indicate that more than 600 lives were spared in 2009 through the enactment and enforcement of minimum drinking age laws.

Boston car accident attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers, LLC, have more than 18 years experience handling serious and fatal traffic accident cases and representing those injured or killed in a Massachusetts car accident. If you have been injured or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Boston-area car accident, talking with an experienced attorney can help you better understand your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our offices at (617) 777-7777.

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