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New Law on Driving With a Cell Phone in Massachusetts

Texting while driving has caused too many collisions.  Since 2010, Massachusetts has outlawed texting while driving. This law, however, did not ban using your cellphone for making calls or scrolling through your email unless you are a driver under the age of 21. In the past few years, lawmakers have introduced legislation banning any hand-held use of cellphones for all drivers but the measures either stalled or died quietly in the House. Governor Baker did not endorse a full ban either, feeling it was unfair to drivers in older vehicles that lacked the technology that permitted hands-free use.

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Massachusetts Seat Belt Stats 2017 Update

In previous blogs on my website, we have discussed the mind-boggling fact that Massachusetts drivers rank among the worst users of seat belts!  As of 2017, we moved to 45th in the nation from a low of 48th, but our usage dropped. Just last year, our drivers were restrained an average of 78.2% of the time while driving. Current statistics have our drivers buckling up at only 74 %. Our sister state, New Hampshire, is dead last at just over 70%.

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Dangerous Rotaries in 2017

Are rotaries safe? Traffic engineers who designed these traffic flow systems seemed to think so, but sentiments are changing. Rotaries, also called roundabouts, are a common feature in many European countries. The difference between a roundabout and a rotary is that the former has one lane for traffic to circle and the later has multiple lanes. The theory behind these systems is that they facilitate the smooth movement of vehicles into a constantly moving circle at reduced speeds.

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Missing Smoke Alarm Leads To Wrongful Death Suit

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are required in all residences in Massachusetts. Owners of rental units must ensure that smoke alarms are in good working condition and comply with state law. Homes that were built before 1975 and are sold must have smoke alarms with a 10-year life span. No residential property can exchange owners without its smoke alarms being certified by the local Fire Marshall. If people are injured or killed because a smoke alarm in their residence was missing or failed to operate, you may have a injury or wrongful death lawsuit.  We represented a family in which a malfunctioning smoke detector was the cause of a mother of a two-year old’s death.

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Pub Crawl Leads to Motor Vehicle Death

Have you ever been on a pub crawl in Massachusetts? This is just another name for bar-hopping where you and friends travel from pub to pub having a drink or two at each one. Usually, there is either a designated driver or, more frequently given their ubiquity, an Uber or Lyft so that the crawlers need not worry about being stopped and arrested for drunk driving. Unfortunately, one of these pub crawls resulted in a tragic accident in McHenry County, Illinois.

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California Cracking Down on Distracted Driving – Is Massachusetts Next?

California has long been a bellwether state for new trends and laws. It is the most populous state and considered more progressive in protecting citizens from corporate safety violations. Home to the tech industry, its residents embrace innovation and tolerance and has some of the strictest regulations in the country when it comes to environmental and consumer safety. Accordingly, it should be no surprise that the state has passed a law restricting any hand-held use of a cellphone while driving so as to cut down on distracted driving fatalities. But will this have any effect on toughening Massachusetts laws regarding cell phone use while driving?

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Mass Seat Belt Awareness Campaign for Men

Seat belts in passenger vehicles first became mandatory for car manufacturers in 1968 though it was not compulsory for occupants to use them until New York became the first state, in 1984, to require all occupants to be buckled up.  Over the years, seat belt use has definitively shown to save lives and now every state, except Vermont, requires that passengers be secured in cars, pickups and commercial vehicles except for buses.

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