According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s 2008 data, Massachusetts experienced more than 300 deaths from car accidents in Boston and elsewhere throughout the state. This study illustrates an 8 percent decrease from the previous year. But wait! NHTSA data for 2010 for Region 1, which includes Massachusetts, indicates an 18 percent increase in these motor vehicle accident deaths from 2009.
Our Boston car accident attorneys recognize that these statistics help us to examine traffic trends and help us identify problem areas that need to be focused on to help prevent future traffic accident deaths in our area. Even with the recent decrease in the number of accidents, we’re still way over the average from just 2 years ago. More needs to be done to raise driver awareness to get drivers to focus on the roadway.
In 2009 in Massachusetts, 44 percent of drivers that were involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver died. The majority of motorists killed on our roadways lost their lives on non-interstate roadways with a speed limit of at least 55 mph. Nearly half of all those killed in traffic crashes in our state were killed in a passenger car, which is the most common to drive in the United States. The next deadliest vehicle on our roadways was light trucks, counting for more than 30 percent of the total vehicles involved in fatal accidents.
It’s surprising that Massachusetts has such high motor-vehicle death rates considering we have strict seat belt laws. Law enforcement enacted seat belt laws as a secondary enforcement, meaning that you can receive a ticket for not wearing your seat belt after being pulled over for another violation. This applies to all drivers and can land you with a $25 fine. This may be a main contributor to our observed seat belt use rate of 98 percent for the year. There are exemptions to this rule though. Taxis, buses, school buses, medical, postal service vehicles, commercial vehicles that make frequent stops and all vehicles built before 1965 are exempt from the seat belt law.
Later this summer, the preliminary stats for 2010 car accidents will be released. As our economy recovers, many safe driving advocates expect all of these numbers to rise. Data from the last few decades illustrates that the number of motor vehicle accidents directly mirrors the economy.
In an attempt to reduce these fatality numbers even more, we offer all motorists these driving tips:
- Slow down. Driving above the speed limit greatly reduces the amount of time you have to react to a road hazard. Increased speed also increases the impact upon collision which increases your risk of serious injury — or death.
- Look around. Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t get lost in the hypnotic stare in the lane in front of you. Know what is to your left, right and rear at all times.
- Double check. Look, and look again, before making any maneuvers on the roadway.
- Seat belt. The use of a seat belt has been proven to greatly reduce your risk of injury and death in the event of a motor-vehicle accident.
- Checkup. Be sure to always keep your vehicle in proper-running condition.
- Blind spots. Be careful of the blind spots of your own vehicle and the blind spots of other vehicles. If you can’t see another driver, they can’t see you.
- Blinkers. Always use your turn signals to alert other drivers of your plan of action on the road.
- Weather. Always adjust to weather conditions, whether that means slowing down, tuning on your hazard lights or turning on your lights.
If you or a loved one have been experienced a car accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Feds Urge Tire Safety to Reduce Risks of Car Accident in Boston and Elsewhere, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 6, 2011
New Program Aims to Assist Baby Boomer in Car Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, May 27, 2011