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Three Fatal Accidents in Three Weeks on Busy Massachusetts Highway

Posted by Marianne C. LeBlanc

Meet Marianne

Marianne is a trial attorney with over two decades of experience in representing clients and a member of BBO and served on the Regulators Subcommittee of the SJC Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. With record-setting verdicts in MA, Marianne’s advocacy skills draw on her commitment to making a difference both for clients and the community at large. Meet Marianne

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Just before the holidays, there were three deadly crashes in just three weeks on Route 24 in Massachusetts. Drivers want to know what’s being done to protect them.  

In recent years, MassDOT has upgraded areas of the 40-mile highway. There are new road markings, pavement, and separate lanes for exiting traffic to slow down. Still, the Bristol County area has seen over 1,417 crashes since 2016. Drivers are concerned about the lack of lighting and the small areas for entering and exiting. More than 300 accidents in the last three years have occurred on unlit areas of Route 24.  

Transportation manager Paul Mission confirmed that the unlit areas on Route 24 see a lot of the crashes. However, he said that almost half of the accidents in the Bristol County area are rear-end collisions caused by distracted drivers. In Massachusetts, the number of distracted crashes rose 170 percent from 2014-2016.  

There are a variety of factors that could be leading to this increase in accidents. These include the increase in younger drivers, poor road conditions, impaired/distracted drivers, and increasing traffic congestion. This year, Boston’s daily commute congestion was ranked the worst in the country, beating out Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.  

MassDOT has plans to improve the safety of Route 24. They plan to resurface portions of the highway, implement safety improvements to highway interchanges, and install lights on both the roadway and the onramps. These changes remain in the planning phase, but construction is estimated to begin in 2021.  

Tips for Safe Driving  

In other high-income countries, the average crash death rate is 19%. The CDC estimates that more than 18,000 lives could be saved in the United States each year if our average rate was also 19%.

They published these useful reminders to keep you safe on the road:

  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).

SUGARMAN’s personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with complex motor vehicle cases resulting in injuries or death. If you have been injured as a result of a roadway incident, please contact us by phone at 617-542-1000, by email at info@sugarman.com, or by filling out a Contact Form.