Nearly 400 people died in car crashes on Massachusetts roads in 2021. This is the highest car accident death toll since 2009, according to the state Highway Safety division.
The exact number of car crash deaths for the state totaled 390. In the past 12 years, 2012 was the second-most deadly with 364 people killed in car crashes.
Related to the high car crash death toll, Boston also had the most pedestrian deaths in 5 years in 2021.
What are the Leading Causes of Car Crashes in Massachusetts?
Leading causes for the increase in car accidents include:
- Decreased seatbelt use
- Increase in motorcycle crashes
In recent months, there were back-to-back deadly crashes in the city of Springfield, pedestrians who died after being struck by a car, and cars traveling speeds topping 110mph prior to collisions. Many of the deadly crashes involved speeding, according to law enforcement.
After a four-day streak of deadly car accidents, the Mayor of Springfield issued a statement asking drivers to slow down.
“Simply put — slow down, pay attention, and have your senses about you, because it could cost you your life or the lives of others,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement. Springfield alone accounted for 19 fatal car crashes in 2021.
How a FaceTime Call Led to a Massachusetts Bicyclist’s Death
Unfortunately, many of us have noticed other drivers on FaceTime or video calls while driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car crashes nationwide, and it’s entirely preventable.
In November, a FaceTime call led to the death of a bicyclist. A 23-year-old woman was FaceTiming a friend on her phone while driving at the time she struck and killed a 69-year-old bicyclist.
The FaceTime call was less than 1-minute long. But it led to the woman failing to stop at a stop sign and subsequently colliding with the bicyclist.
No call is worth someone’s life. One single minute of distraction can be fatal.
The bicyclist left behind children, grandchildren, and a career as a musician and producer.
To learn more about safe passing distances for bicycles, check out our blog.
Road Safety Tips from a Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney
When it comes to being safe on Massachusetts roads, the good news is there are many things within your power that you can do to help ensure you get where you’re going safely.
1) Drive the Speed Limit
Speeding at the time of a car crash dramatically increases the risk of someone losing their life. Car crash studies have shown that even relatively minor increases in speed can make a huge impact on the injuries people suffer and the damage done to cars.
A crash at 56 mph, for example, damages a car much more significantly than a crash at 50 mph and leads to more severe injuries for people involved in the crash. This is important to keep in mind, as many of us regularly drive well over 56 mph on the highways.
2) Wear your Seat Belt
Wearing a seatbelt is one of the single-most effective ways to save your life in the event of a car crash. A seatbelt can stop you from being ejected from a vehicle, can spare you head trauma, help prevent airbag injuries, broken bones, and more.
Even if you’re running a simple errand, or only traveling a short distance, a seatbelt is still imperative to your safety. More than 50% of car accidents occur within a 5-mile radius of a person’s home. Nearly 70% of car accidents happen within a 10-mile radius of home.
So even if you’re just going down the street, take a moment to buckle up. You just never know when you’re going to need your seatbelt to save your life – and it’s never worth the gamble.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines to buckling up safely:
● Make sure the lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage
● The lap belt should be on your hips - not your stomach
● The shoulder belt should be across the middle of your chest and away from your neck
● The shoulder belt should never be put behind your back or under your arm
3) Practice Motorcycle Safety
When you’re a motorcycle rider in Massachusetts, you know that your safety is dependent both on yourself and on the realities of traffic and the other drivers around you. If involved in a car accident, motorcycle riders are much more likely to die than passengers in cars.
Because of this reality, it’s important to do everything in your control as a rider to reduce your risk of an accident. In this blog, we put together a comprehensive safety checklist for Massachusetts motorcyclists.
4) Don’t Drive Distracted
Distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal car accidents in Massachusetts and nationwide. Distracting driving can have devastating consequences, as we saw above. Distracted driving includes looking at your phone, texting, answering a call, inputting an address, or even adjusting the radio. These days, some people who are still working remotely are even joining Zoom meetings from behind the wheel.
Distracted driving could cost you your life or the life of someone else on the road. It’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings while driving, especially in the winter months. Being alert and focused on the road will provide you with the best opportunity to avoid a hazard, collision, or unexpected road event.
Injured in a Massachusetts’ Car Accident? Call or Text Spada Law Group for a Free Consultation
We’ve helped countless people in Massachusetts get the recovery they need after a car accident. In fact, Spada Law Group has been recognized as one of the Top 20 Car Accident Attorneys in Boston for 2022. Whether you were driving, walking, biking, or on a motorcycle - Spada Law Group’s injury lawyers can help if you were injured in an accident.
We have offices in Chelsea, Peabody, and Worcester, but we proudly serve the entire state and can meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your injury.