As a Massachusetts resident, you can rest easy knowing that you live in one of the least stressed-out states in the nation, or maybe you already knew that? To highlight Stress Awareness Month this past April (were you aware of that?), a list was compiled by Wallethub, a finance web site, ranking the 10 most stressed states and the 10 least.
Factors in the study included the average hours of sleep per night, number of bankruptcies filed and the number of hours worked. In all, there were 38 indicators of stress that were applied to all 50 states and D.C.
Massachusetts ranked number 8 on the list of least stressed with Minnesota leading the way. Louisiana was the most stressed, being among a number of southern states in that category.
How Does Stress Affect Driving?
Even though we are apparently one of the most laid-back states, being on the road is still one of the most stressful activities in an average day. And if you are a regular commuter, there is no denying the poor quality of our roads that only adds more stress to an already long and boring commute for many of us.
Massachusetts is one of the most densely populated states with 36,000 miles of roadway. We log about 56 billion miles per year, making us one of the most heavily traveled states. With all that mileage you would think that our roads would be up to the task but Massachusetts ranks near the bottom in the funds provided for road infrastructure. In fact, Wallethub ranked Massachusetts at 46th in the nation for the quality of our roads and dead last in “Traffic and Infrastructure.”
Our harsh winters and hot summers damage our roadways so constant maintenance is required. Unfortunately, our roads are a low priority. Poor roads can lead to property damage as well as accident injuries as motorists end up in deep potholes, lose control or take evasive action that can lead to collisions.
Further, long commutes or being stuck in slow moving traffic is no picnic and adds to road rage and risky behavior. Frustrated drivers will cut off other motorists, speed up at inappropriate times, run stop lights, be inattentive to pedestrians and bicyclists, and undertake other unsafe maneuvers to get to their destination just a few minutes earlier. There is little doubt that your risk of being injured in a car accident from stress is high.
Of course, no study or survey is without its flaws so you might wonder if WalletHub considered the average commute time and transportation structure of each state in its rankings. So when you are out on the road one fine Massachusetts morning, stuck in congested traffic, running over potholes, having to deal with other commuters cutting you off or running the stop light, think of how fortunate you are to live in one of the least stressful states in the nation.
Dealing with Stress
There are ways to avoid being in a car accident from stress. If driving, consider listening to books on tape or even learning a new language. Of course, concentrate on your driving and be aware of your environment so you can react in time to a hazard.
Some experts challenge you to view your routine in a different light. Try to see what is new in your daily commute and pretend to be an alien visiting the planet for the first time. If on the road, be courteous to other drivers and accept that you will get to your destination even if a few minutes late or try to leave earlier in the morning. If on transit, use social media to appreciate photos that a friend has sent or take some yourself to send out. Be courteous to other riders and offer a smile. Reading or listening to music or even engaging a fellow commuter on the bus is preferable to just worrying about things over which you have little control.
Damages in a Car Accident
Stress leads to poor judgment by motorists that can lead to traffic accidents and injuries. If you are injured, you will need an experienced car accident lawyer to handle your claim and to give you the best opportunity to obtain the most compensation for your claim.
Damages in a car accident typically include:
- Past and future wage losses
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of earning capacity
- Diminished enjoyment and quality of life
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Punitive damages in Massachusetts personal injury cases are only available in wrongful death claims.
Consult the Law Offices of Burns and Jain
Were you involved in a car accident from stress? This could from another frustrated motorist who rear-ended you because he was driving too fast and expected you to run the red light. Or, perhaps the driver was speeding and weaving in and out of lanes and broad-sided you. In any event, contact an experienced and knowledgeable car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Burns and Jain at (617) 227-7423. Let our attorneys give your accident claim the attention and dedication it deserves.