Using driving behavior to determine auto insurance rates is not necessarily a new idea, but several companies in the analytics industry have brought that factor into a new focus. Two Boston-based companies who use an app to track driver’s behavior for insurance companies recently merged when Cambridge Mobile Telematics acquired TrueMotion. The new company will provide telematic services to 21 of the 25 largest auto insurers in the nation.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has joined with 16 other attorneys general and the District of Columbia to demand that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) draft certain safety standards for child car safety seats. In a letter sent to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and Steve Cliff of the NHTSA, the group urged the government to take “swift action” in addressing shortfalls in safety seat regulations.
In the year and a half since the Massachusetts hands-free cellphone law went into effect, MassDOT reported that over 40,000 warnings have been issued to state drivers. This figure is part of the overall total of 53,638 citations issued for distracted driving since the law took effect in February 2020.
The data from Carinsurance.com on the safest and the least safest states for teen driving is out for 2021 with Massachusetts ranked at number 8 in the safest category. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were surveyed based on 6 metrics:
Are Massachusetts drivers notorious for bad behavior on our roadways? Getting honked at, yelled at, or being shown a middle digit while trying to navigate a busy intersection or traffic congested highway may be a common occurrence for many state drivers, but a state-wide campaign has been launched to hopefully change drivers’ behavior in the interest of public safety.
Earlier this summer, a Hopkinton, Massachusetts woman sustained serious injuries after being ejected from the sedan in which she was a passenger when it collided with a utility vehicle. The crash occurred in Wilford near 420 Fortune Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. According to witnesses, the sedan’s driver was speeding and overtaking multiple vehicles before crossing into oncoming traffic where it collided with the utility truck.
Recently, a 46-year-old Hampden County man from Wales, Massachusetts riding on a 2018 Harley Davidson motorcycle with a passenger was killed when an SUV turned left in front of him. His passenger, a 52-year old woman from Charlton in Worcester County, was airlifted to UMass Medical Center in Worcester where she was reported in serious condition.
For some reason, wrong-way accidents are on the rise in Western Massachusetts. Between 2015 and 2018, our state experienced twice the national average in wrong way accident fatalities with 500 deaths per year. Springfield reported 315 wrong-way car collisions between 2010 and 2020, making it the second worst in the state for such accidents behind Worcester.
Prompted by the George Floyd tragedy in Minneapolis and numerous other fatal encounters by largely Black motorists with police during traffic stops, the Northampton, Massachusetts Policing Review Commission recently came out in favor of unarmed traffic enforcement. This would entail a non-police response to minor traffic law violations such as speeding, unlawful turns, expired plates, or equipment violations. In other words, utilizing a trained civilian corps for traffic matters that do not involve threats to public safety. Perhaps this is good for public moral, but how will this affect victims of personal injury?
It was a hit-and-run accident that left Yarmouth, Massachusetts police officers puzzled. A few months ago, police were alerted to the intersection of Swan Road and Circuit Road West after residents apparently reported a hit-and-run accident. Although no pedestrians or other motorists were injured, the fleeing vehicle left a fire hydrant and a scrub oak heavily damaged.