According to the state’s Highway Administrator, traffic is back on Massachusetts roadways. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on your perspective and whether you have returned to the commute you left behind over 18-months ago. If you are thinking of returning to that commute, consider that in 2020, according to a Texas A&M Transportation Institute study, Boston area drivers spent an average of about 50-hours in traffic. Boston was also ranked as the second worst in the nation for daily traffic delays.
During the height of the pandemic, traffic volume was low as many people were permitted to work remotely, or were laid off or terminated especially in the service industry. Curiously though, traffic fatalities actually increased in 2020 during the pandemic. With fewer cars on the road, drivers took the opportunity to drive faster, to take greater risks, and to drink and drive in the belief that traffic enforcement would be less.
As more people get vaccinated and some mask mandates are relaxed, we are seeing people returning to offices or places of business. However, as the state Highway Administrator pointed out, traffic has been dispersed throughout the day and rush hour congestion has not been as intense as it was pre-Covid.
Transportation officials, though, are expecting a surge in traffic volume as things return to normal or close to it. One concern is that fewer people are returning to or using public transportation, likely due to lingering fears of Covid infection in closed quarters like buses and trains. A recent poll reported that about a third of Greater Boston residents said they will use public transportation less. However, around 27% said they plan to drive more.
Covid Car Accidents
The expected surge has traffic and safety advocates worried. Road and traffic capacity has not changed though levels have yet to reach past volumes. Also, a report by McKinsey and Company showed that 90% of businesses will continue to offer remote work to its employees to some degree. Further, the morning and afternoon peaks are still down from 2019, and travel times in Boston at 5:00 p.m. are 33% faster than in 2019, and 15% faster during the morning commute.
There are increases in traffic volumes in rural counties that have little impact on congestion, and most highways in Boston have yet to reach their threshold points. For example, Mass Pike traffic between I-95 and Boston is down 25% in all directions for morning and afternoon rush hours. It is also down between 11% and 26% on I-93 north of Boston. Officials, though, do expect increases by the end of the year.
Although it may be more convenient at this time to drive to work or for other matters, the expected return to pre-pandemic traffic levels by the end of this year should give residents reasons to consider using public transportation. Hopefully, by businesses offering flexible work schedules or opportunities to work at home each day or even on some days we will not see a return to congestion levels that were among the highest in the nation.
If you are a commuter and cannot or would rather than work remotely, think carefully about whether you want to add your vehicle to the expected surge in traffic and the frustrations that being stuck in traffic brings.
Damages in Traffic Accident Injury Claims
Damages in a motor vehicle accident vary according to the severity of your injuries and the impact it has had on your life and work. Damages are typically:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income loss
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income capacity
- Emotional distress
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Damages are an essential element in any personal injury claim. Only an experienced car accident attorney can ensure that you obtain the benefits and compensation that you deserve.
Retain a Car Accident Attorney from Burns and Jain
Every injury claim is different. Handling a claim by yourself risks not getting properly compensated and omitting other responsible parties that only an experienced car accident attorney can hold accountable. Call our office at (617) 227-7423 and talk to a car accident attorney about your injury claim and learn how we can help you.