Worcester viewers of WFXT recently saw a news report on the deadly Wisconsin pile-up that involved 131 vehicles. While newscasters were quick to point out that the chain-reaction crashes were caused by extreme winter weather, a state trooper made it clear that though the snowstorm was an important factor in the series of motor vehicle crashes, the real culprit was that drivers could not “stop fast enough because they're following too close or going too fast for the conditions,” he said.
As law enforcement, legislators and research agencies seek methods to improve safety on the roads and convince drivers to adhere to the law, various strategies are used. Massachusetts drivers should know that April has been dubbed Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council. While the attempts on the part of the NSC and insurance companies to ramp down distracted driving is a worthwhile endeavor, the backstory behind the need for it is the number of drivers who are texting and driving and behaving as a distracted driver when on the road.
There are innumerable dangers on the road in Massachusetts and across the nation. However, one that is growing in anecdotal and statistical risk is encountering a distracted driver. Because looking away from the road increases the chance of being in an auto accident and nearly everyone has a device that is a clear temptation to use, it has become troublingly prevalent for there to be crashes due to distracted driving. Studies and surveys are conducted to determine the scope of the problem and the latest from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers are still using their cellphones behind the wheel despite the known risks.
In Worcester and throughout Massachusetts, the mornings can be a dangerous time for pedestrians. People are on their way to work, are frequently in a rush and might be paying attention to several things at once rather than what they are supposed to be paying attention to: the road. In addition, people who are taking children to school could find themselves in risky situations as they try to cross busy streets, sometimes in poor weather. When there is a pedestrian-car accident, those who were hit can suffer serious injury and death. A lawsuit can help to recover compensation for all that was lost.
Statistics detailing how and why car accidents happen can be useful for Massachusetts residents and for people across the nation. Some of the most vulnerable people on the road are not in vehicles at all, but are functioning as pedestrians. When there is a crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian, serious injury is likely and fatality is possible. Research is constantly being conducted to try and understand the cause of these crashes and to reduce their incidence. One new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that the number of pedestrians who died in the U.S. has held steady at almost 6,000 for 2017. This is the most in 25 years.
Massachusetts residents should keep track of car accident statistics so they know what to look for when they head out on the road as a driver, a passenger, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. For example, numbers that might initially appear to show an improvement are often indicative of a stagnation or worsening of various problems when they are dissected in depth. Such is the case for the approximately one percent reduction in motor vehicle fatalities in 2017. This information, from the National Safety Council, heightens concerns about road dangers.
While most drivers will adhere to the rules of the road and operate their vehicles safely, there will always be a certain number of drivers who operate their vehicles aggressively, negligently and recklessly. For whatever reason, they will try to make unsafe passes, drive beyond the speed limit, use their handheld devices while driving and exhibit many other behaviors that place themselves and others at risk. Often, this will lead to a car accident. After there has been a crash with a driver who was performing dangerous actions, there still must be an accident investigation to accrue evidence. For the victims, having legal help to investigate with their interests in mind is essential.
Massachusetts drivers know that there are inherent dangers when heading out on the road. That includes distracted drivers, drunk drivers and people who are reckless or negligent. Another issue that can cause a car accident is a drowsy driver. While this is a worrisome problem, its scope might have been underplayed. According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, it is possible that drowsy driving can be up to eight times more prevalent than previously thought. Those who have been in an auto accident should be cognizant of these statistics to determine if a drowsy driver led to the crash.
People who work in Massachusetts jobs around moving vehicles will inevitably find themselves in harm's way. This is not limited to people who work on the road. It can apply to people who are in a parking lot or even a car wash. When there is a car accident involving a pedestrian or a worker who is not in a vehicle, there can be serious injury, even death. Those who have been hurt in this type of incident should understand that they will be confronted with medical expenses and major problems.
Every driver, bicyclist and pedestrian in Massachusetts will undoubtedly have a story of encountering a distracted driver. The issue has become so prevalent that municipalities are seeking laws and new methods to put a stop to the practice. Similarly, companies that manufacture smartphones and other devices are trying to formulate ways to make it safer for use. Regardless, studies indicate that the dangers of distracted driving are real and can lead to a car collision with injuries and fatalities.