In July, Massachusetts will join a growing list of states that have legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes. Many people will be welcoming the legalization of marijuana for various reasons. These include the inaccurate and unscientific comparison of pot to harder drugs like heroin or cocaine, its inclusion as a controlled substance, the mass incarceration of mostly minorities for its mere possession over the decades, and its proven medical benefits. However, marijuana is still a drug that affects cognition, coordination and reaction time, all factors that can lead to deadly consequences while driving under its influence.
Car accidents are common occurrences and the majority are minor in nature with no or minimal injuries. However, when a pedestrian is struck by a car, the odds that he/she will suffer a serious injury is substantially higher.
Recently, a 61-year old man was killed in Lowell when he was struck by a car on Church Street near Warren. Lowell is a fair-sized community of over 108,000 residents and lies close to Lexington, Andover, Tewksbury, Billerica and Cambridge.
According to city-data.com, Lowell has 3 of the most dangerous intersections in the state. Although this most recent fatal accident did not occur at these intersections, the fact that many of Lowell’s streets are not particularly safe should give its residents pause.
Strange things happen at night. In the early morning hours of April 8, 2018, in Lawrence, customers at the Lowell Street 7-11 got a very rude wake-up call when an intoxicated man drove his SUV into the store, just narrowly missing a customer but striking a 64-year-old man, causing him extensive injuries. A video from the store captured the sequence, showing customers talking near the entrance way just before the SUV comes crashing through.
The driver is also seen on the video pleading with police before being taken away and jailed on suspicion of intoxicated driving, driving without a license and reckless driving. Because the victim suffered a serious injury, the driver could face more serious DUI charges.
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.
In March, an autonomous vehicle (AV) struck and killed a woman who was crossing an Arizona highway at night despite the car having a human behind the wheel as a safety precaution. An investigation revealed that the vehicle, which was owned and being tested by Uber, failed to detect the pedestrian and that the driver reacted too slowly in engaging the steering wheel to avoid the collision. Some experts commented that although the victim may have been crossing the highway unlawfully, the Uber vehicle’s technology should have sensed her presence and either slowed down or taken evasive action.
All parents should know that at certain ages their children need to be in proper child safety seats when riding in a vehicle but also that everyone needs to be in a seat belt at all times. A recent incident that could have easily resulted in a tragedy highlights the importance of this commonsense safety measure.
If you own and ride a motorcycle, then you appreciate the feeling of freedom and independence that comes with hitting the open road, weaving around traffic, and the quick and easy acceleration that comes with most bikes. Most motorcycle riders are careful, cautious and courteous riders because they also understand the risks that come with riding and the importance of being adequately insured. Because of their size, motorcycles are sometimes invisible to other motorists. When making turns at intersections and entering an adjoining lane, drivers can easily misjudge the speed and distance of a motorcycle, if they even notice them, and will cross directly into their path. In most accidents at even moderate speeds, the results are often tragic.
If you drive in Massachusetts it may have crossed your mind that the traffic and roads here are likely the worst ever. The truth is that you are not that far off. A new study from WalletHub put out a list of the best and worst states to drive in. We came in as the 7th worst in the country.
In two separate hit-and-run incidents involving young children, Massachusetts police were able to identify and charge two persons with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, which is a felony.
In an April, 2017 incident in Milford, police arrested a 54-year old woman whose vehicle was seen on surveillance video after the accident that killed a 4-year old boy. The woman, who saw her vehicle from the video on the news, curiously showed up at a police station shortly after the accident and told police the damage to her car was from a tree branch. An investigation revealed the woman had fabricated the story and arrested her. Witnesses at the scene described the vehicle as having briefly stopped after the boy was hit before speeding off. Police are using this to show that the accused was aware that she had struck someone before fleeing. Along with fleeing the scene of an accident with injury resulting in death, the woman is charged with misleading police officers in an investigation.
In Massachusetts, the Arlington Board of Selectmen has acknowledged that future of driving is likely in autonomous vehicles. The town recently gave the nod to the town manager to pave the way for its streets to be a testing ground for autonomous or self-driving cars. Currently, there are two autonomous car companies operating in the Boston area: nuTonomy and Optimus Ride. A number of companies are applying to test their vehicles in Arlington, which requires them to submit a test plan for approval.