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Rise in auto accident fatalities in Massachusetts is concerning


Massachusetts drivers who keep track of the fatality rate on the road should be concerned about the latest findings. A rise in fatal crashes is raising the scrutiny on driver behavior. These behaviors when behind the wheel can place other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists at risk of being injured and killed in an auto accident. The latest statistics show than almost 400 people were killed in the state in 2016. This was the highest increase for any state in the whole Northeast and has led to demands that a crackdown on texting and driving and other distracted driver behaviors be done. It is also suggested that people should be forced to wear their seatbelts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 44 more deaths in Massachusetts in 2016 than there were in 2015. This contrasts with a reduction in fatalities in New York and New Jersey. State lawmakers are concerned about these numbers and are seeking to strengthen laws for seatbelt use. The bigger issue, however, is believed to be smartphone and device use while driving. Across the nation, the number of deaths has risen by about six percent. In Massachusetts, there were 389 deaths. That was a rise of 13 percent from the previous year - twice the rise across the nation.

Other states in New England experienced a rise in fatalities. New Hampshire rose 19 percent. Rhode Island, like Massachusetts, rose 13 percent. Other factors that are causing road deaths are drunk drivers, people driving at excessive speed and those failing to wear a seatbelt. Distracted driving is an issue that cannot be ignored even though in many instances, it is difficult to determine if it was happening. The number of people killed due to distracted driving is believed to have reduced across the nation and by 23 in Massachusetts. But it is frequently underreported as a cause. There is no law that drivers in Massachusetts must use a hands-free device.

People who are in an auto accident must be aware of the long-term effects they can face even if they or a loved one survive. There will be medical bills, lost wages and the possibility that they will never return to full health. After a fatality, the family will need to come to grips with the untimely loss of a loved one and everything that goes with that. Seeking compensation through a legal filing can help to cover the expenses and personal loss. With a car accident, the accident investigation is vital to a legal case. A lawyer can help with every aspect of a filing.

Source: bostonherald.com, "Bay State driver deaths on rise," Matt Stout, Oct. 18, 2017

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