After Multiple Deadly Crashes on Route 24 Changes are Coming
Massachusetts Route 24 is a 40-mile stretch of highway running north-south beginning at Fall River and extending to Randolph. To motorists familiar with Route 24, it has become infamous for the overwhelming number of crashes and fatalities with some motorists calling it the “death highway” or the” highway from hell.” From 2016 to 2019, there were 1,417 crashes in Bristol County with about eight fatalities. In 2016, there were 590 crashes between Randolph and Berkely with 286 reported injuries and two fatalities. Overall, in the past 5-years, there were 3,000 collisions with the roadway between Fall River and Taunton appearing to be the deadliest stretch.
Motorists who regularly use the road point to the substantial number of drivers on their cellphones and traveling as if speed limits are non-existent. One driver compared Route 24 to a Nascar racetrack or the German Autobahn where there is no speed limit.
Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyer And Ejected Passenger
Transportation officials, though, point to the lack of illumination along the route citing poor if any lighting as you pass through Freetown, Berkley, and Taunton until you get to the 495 interchange. In a familiar but tragic incident last November, a woman had to swerve to avoid a deer in the roadway that resulted in her 16-year son being ejected from the car’s rear hatchback door. She said she didn’t see the deer until it was directly in front of her since there were no streetlights. The ejected passenger may have a claim against his mother’s insurance company. This is complicated and requires the finesse of an experienced car accident lawyer in Massachusetts.
Lack of sufficient lighting may be one factor, but other officials cite human factors such as distracted driving since there are a large number of rear-end collisions. One major cause according to highway design and planners is the antiquated roadway design and lack of safety features that are in critical need of being remedied.
A bill in the legislature will help bring relief of as much as $11,000,000 to this nightmare stretch of road that includes re-surfacing the route in Fall River from Route I-95 north to the Fall River/Freetown line. Other measures are safety improvements where northbound Route 24/Route 79 merge, and the Exit 8A northbound ramp to Airport Road. Pavement markings will be enhanced along with widening and lengthening the deceleration lane at Exit 8A. Installation of street lights and overall reconstruction of the Route 24/Route 140 interchange at Taunton will hopefully drastically reduce accidents there. Construction may not begin, though, until Spring 2021.
Regarding distracted driving, Massachusetts has a new law that bars all motorists from using a hand-held device except in emergency situations. Tickets will be issued beginning in March. The violation is a primary offense so that officers need not observe the driver violating some other traffic offense before they can stop and cite drivers if they are seen with a smartphone in their hand or are texting, even on a hands-free device.
If construction begins as hoped next year, it will be at least 2022 before any impact of the new developments can be seen. Meanwhile, be especially cautions on Route 24 and avoid driving at night there if possible.
Liability for Faulty Highway Design?
If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed on Route 24, do you have a claim against the state for its failure to address the factors that have led to so many accidents and deaths? Certainly, the state has been on notice for years about this particularly dangerous stretch of road and has done nothing to address concerns of motorists. An experienced car accident lawyer can investigate the cause of any accident on Route 24 to see if the lack of illumination, poor signage or road maintenance, or faulty roadway design was a substantial factor in causing the accident.
The victim in the above case may have a claim against more than just the driver if her car accident lawyer can show that deer have been routinely seen at night at or near this stretch of road and that proper lighting could have alerted the driver to the deer’s presence much sooner. But for other accidents, if another vehicle is involved, then that driver’s conduct has to be examined as well.
Damages in Massachusetts Car Accident Claims
Damages in a car accident depend on how severe your injury is, its effect on your ability to work and engage in routine, daily activities, and if future care is needed among many other factors. Typical damages include:
Damages in a typical car accident injury claim include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Retain an Experienced Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyer from Burns & Jain
Only a highly experienced car accident lawyer can properly evaluate your injury claim, explore all possible avenues of compensation, and get you the compensation you deserve. Call the car accident lawyers at Burns & Jain at (617) 227-7423 for a free consultation about your injury claim.