Massachusetts Auto Accident Lawyer Reviews 2011 Statistics
When a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer represents a client, we work diligently for the best result given the circumstances of the collision, the client’s injuries, his or her work history, and the permanency of the injuries. However, when we review statistics from Massachusetts and from around the country, we look to seek if there are any patterns that show things are safer year after year. The good news this year is they are!
There were 605 Massachusetts highway fatalities in 1990, 433 in 2000, 441 in 2005 and 334 in 2009. Massachusetts’ fatality rate was 1.3 deaths per 100 million miles driven in 1990; in 2009 it was reduced to 0.6. The United States total rate went from 2.1 down to 1.1 in that time period. That is, from 44,599 deaths to 33,808 deaths. In Connecticut, for example, the rate went from 1.5 down to 0.7; in New Hampshire the rate went from 1.6 to 0.9. While the statistics are getting better, there are still too many wrongful deaths in Massachusetts, as well as injuries and permanent losses in Massachusetts.
One statistic that gets better but remains a nagging fact is with respect to drunk driving accidents in Massachusetts. Notwithstanding the fact that drunk driving may be down by 30%, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers in the US drove while impaired 112 million times in 2010. In 2009, the result was 11,000 deaths as a result of alcohol related driving. The statistics include the fact that men are responsible for 81% of the drinking and driving episodes; and, while men aged 21 to 34 represent only 11% of the population, they are responsible for 32% of the alcohol related driving instances. Further, 85% of drinking and driving episodes involved “binge drinking” which is 5 for more drinks for men and 4 or more for women. According to the CDC, having only two beers results in loss of judgment and having trouble doing two tasks at the same time.
An unnerving fact is that a 2011 study of drivers throughout the 50 states undertaken by the GMAC Insurance Company indicates that 80 % of current drivers cannot pass a basic driving written test! What is even scarier is that drivers in the Northeast scored the lowest
With the casino gambling issue rising again in Massachusetts, one argument is that there will be more crime, especially organized crime. We have no sense of the criminal activity following casino growth. However, another area we are concerned with is the rise in more dangerous driving, including alcohol related driving, that may accompany the growth of local casinos. If Native Americans get a license, there is an added concern because Native Americans are significantly more likely to be involved in alcohol related driving fatalities, according to a United Stated Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study.
Whether it’s a casino or just plain neighborhood drivers, we continue to follow the statistics of senior drivers. In a 2011 Israeli study regarding “hazard detection” of drivers verses pedestrians in the road, it was found that elderly drivers had a slower response time. The study showed that the elderly had limited useful field of view. They also drove 20% slower; perhaps knowing their response time was slower.
On the other hand, children were found to be safer when driving with their grandparents versus their parents! This is from a study in Pediatrics by Fred Henretig.
Finally, with the large number of college students and young people in Massachusetts, we are concerned with their driving. In a 2009 Australian study published in March 2011, psychologically distressed driving was the explanation for 8.5% higher rate of risky driving among drivers aged 17 to 25. The rate was significantly higher for females; 9.5% versus 6.7% for males.
Here is to working with all of you to make 2012 a safer new year!