Massachusetts Legal Blog
Two companies have started testing driverless cars on the streets of Boston to see just how safe they really are. And one company is partnering up with Lyft to bring automation to the ride-sharing industry. But the trials aren’t going over well with all Boston natives. While some residents are keen to try them out, others wonder just how safe these autonomous cars can be. Read the rest »
Fall is quickly coming upon us. While wrapping up in a sweater can be cozy, and watching the foliage change colors is beautiful, fall also has certain dangers lurking around—especially for drivers out on New England roads. Read the rest »
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continually strives to make school buses safer; in fact, school buses are among the safest vehicles on our roads. Students are 70 times more likely to be involved in an accident when traveling to school by car compared to school bus.
Though school buses are generally safer than any other type of bus, roughly 40 million students in public schools across the country take the bus each day, so accidents are going to occur. NHTSA estimates indicate that approximately 12,000 injuries result from school bus crashes annually. Read the rest »
A recent AAA study reported that over 200,000 collisions occurred in a four-year span because of debris on U.S. roadways, which resulted in roughly 500 fatalities. They estimate that road-debris-related accidents have risen 40% since 2001, and most occur on highway interstates.
CalTrans, California’s agency assigned with maintaining roads and bridges, recently spent $62 million to remove approximately 155,000 cubic yards of miscellaneous junk along its roads. Daniel Hill, speaking on behalf of the California Highway Patrol, says that many of the calls they receive about roadway hazards are items that have fallen off of cars, which were improperly loaded or tied down.
Let’s try to stop that. Read the rest »
We hear lots of advertising about the need to “winterize” our cars each year. However, it is equally important to conduct proper maintenance for the summer months, too. Although road conditions are harsher in a Massachusetts winter, the heat of summer creates its own dangers for your vehicle.
Here’s a checklist of best practices for “summer-izing” your car. Read the rest »
A Boston Globe report indicates that traffic fatalities on Massachusetts roadways are rising.
In 2016, there were 399 reported deaths from motor vehicle accidents in the State. The National Safety Council says there were approximately 13% more accidents than in 2015, and 15% more than in 2014. A combination of factors is believed to be contributing, including an improved economy, low fuel prices, and increased traffic among commuting workers and vacationers. Nationwide, there were slightly over 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2016, the most since 2007.
During the summer, remember to take safety measures, particularly prior to long road trips. Read the rest »
June is National Safety Month, and this year’s theme is Keep Each Other Safe. Learn how you can keep yourself, your loved ones, and others around you safe with these tips.
Behind the Wheel
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor crashes are the #1 cause of death for children and young adults, and the #2 cause of death for adults overall. The sad fact is, these deaths are easily preventable. Here’s what you can do to keep yourself and others on the road safe: Read the rest »
The insurance marketplace Everquote created an application to measure people’s driving habits. The Safe Driving Challenge was a two-week study that compared Massachusetts’ drivers to those in New York State.
Motorists in Massachusetts fared slightly better in their overall safety score of 76 compared to New York’s 74. Within the state, North Reading was determined to be the safest city to travel in, while Boston was the most dangerous. The application measured factors including acceleration, braking, mobile device usage, and speed. Overall, the report stated that Massachusetts drivers seemed to travel at 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Law enforcement in Massachusetts continues to crack down on distracted driving, which most commonly involves drivers using mobile devices while on the road. The Massachusetts Office of Public Highway Safety is leading the statewide efforts to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Last year, Governor Baker announced that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Police are more aggressively patrolling areas that seem to be high-risk.
Impact on Fatal Crashes
The National Safety Council calculated there were roughly 399 fatalities from vehicle crashes in Massachusetts during 2016. This shows the continuation of a pattern: up from 354 in 2015 and 348 in 2014.
Nationally, there were 40,200 fatalities, making 2016 the deadliest year of driving since 2007. Jeff Larason, Massachusetts Highway Safety Director, considers this trend “troubling” and feels that distracted driving is the leading cause.
Roughly 70% of U.S. roads are located in regions which receive at least an average of 5 inches of snowfall annually. Similarly, approximately 70% of the U.S. population also resides in these snowy regions. Snow and ice accumulation on the roadways creates potentially dangerous driving conditions by reducing friction, vehicle handling, and braking. Approximately 25% of weather-related auto crashes occur atop surfaces containing snow or ice. Winter-related activity accounts for about 20% of the funds exhausted by state transportation budgets—a staggering 2.3 billion dollars.
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