“Boston” is a metropolitan area encompassing the communities of Saugus, Revere, Everett, Chelsea, Winthrop, Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Hingham, and Weymouth. Motor vehicle accidents here pose a constant threat in every one of these communities.
Unfortunately, fatalities from speed-related crashes in Boston have picked up in recent years, posing a more potent danger to residents and visitors to the area. Furthermore, Boston residents may have a reputation for unsafe driving, including ignoring traffic signs and signals, speeding, or driving recklessly.
Take a look at these Boston motor vehicle accident statistics and how they may continue to impact drivers throughout the greater Boston area.
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Boston
According to the Massachusetts Department Of Transportation, intersections may endanger people for several reasons. Heavy traffic makes an intersection more hazardous since people must navigate more carefully to get through it successfully. Poor visibility or confusing traffic patterns can make an intersection more dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
These intersections remain some of the most hazardous in Boston.
- Morton Street and Harvard Street
- Gallivan Blvd. and Adams Street
- Gallivan Blvd. and Granite Avenue
- Massachusetts Avenue Connector and Frontage Road
- Gallivan Blvd. and Dorchester Avenue
- Morton Street and Gallivan Blvd
- Riverway and Longwood Avenue
Avoiding these intersections, or exercising care when moving through them, can go a long way toward helping many drivers stay safer and reduce the risk of an accident.
In addition, the Boston area has several potentially dangerous roadways. On Route 95, for example, drivers often choose to travel at excessively high rates of speed. Drivers traveling 65 miles per hour on Route 95 may end up pushed off the road, further increasing the danger residents may face as they try to navigate through the area.
Some neighborhoods may also have disproportionate risks to pedestrians due in part to the makeup of the population of those areas. Boston.gov identifies children, elderly adults, and people with disabilities, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, as facing higher risks.
Those individuals may fill the streets around certain key areas, including:
- West Codman Hill East
- Washington, Harwood Norwell
- West Codman Hill West
- West Selden Street and vicinity
- Redefine Our Community
- Hancock Street Triangle
- Sugar Hill
- Bloomfield Park
- Lower South Street neighborhood
- Moreland Street and Mount Pleasant
In those areas, motorists should exercise additional care to help reduce the risk of a damaging collision. Unfortunately, many Boston residents fail to take those vital precautions, leading to increased accident risk and increased injury in those areas.
Boston Motor Vehicle Accidents: By the Numbers
Due to the city’s heavy traffic and tight streets, Boston may have a higher risk of dangerous collisions.
- 2,917 crashes occurred over the past five years on Route 24.
- In the first nine months of last year, Boston recorded 26 fatalities.
- During a five-year study, Boston ranked fifth in the state for crashes involving pedestrians, with 139 crashes and 88 injuries/fatalities.
- During the same five-year study, Boston ranked 10th for bicycle accidents, with 49 crashes and 26 injuries/fatalities.
- A total of 36,096 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in one year, according to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes several interesting facts about Massachusetts drivers.
- Recent data shows Massachusetts drivers total 66,772 million miles a year—this figure represents a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year’s data.
- Massachusetts ranks 17th among the 50 states for total vehicle miles traveled.
- Fifty percent of motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- 60 percent of traffic fatalities in Massachusetts occur between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Due to the traffic accident and fatality rate in Boston, many drivers may prefer to rely on public transportation when possible to help increase overall safety. Boston’s excellent public transportation system can help keep residents safer as they move through the area.
Boston also offers a strong pedestrian walking structure, which many residents and visitors may use to get around. Unfortunately, despite our strong pedestrian infrastructure, dangerous driving continues to injure pedestrians.
The Dangers of Driving in Boston
Boston Discovery Guide notes that Boston drivers must pay careful attention to everything around them. Unfortunately, the city may have some unique dangers that may increase the risk of devastating accidents.
Allstate America points out that out of 200 cities, Boston ranks 198th for safe driving. Channel 4 CBS Boston also notes that Boston has a dangerous driving problem: it ranks 94th out of 100, according to those rankings. Boston drivers may submit two and a half times as many insurance claims as drivers in the 200 most highly populated cities in America.
Many potentially dangerous driving behaviors may increase the risk of hazardous collisions. Due to the danger of driving in the city, many residents and visitors struggle with high accident risk.
Boston residents embrace a culture of jaywalking. They may cross wherever it seems convenient rather than crossing at a crosswalk. Unfortunately, jaywalking can make it much more difficult for drivers to predict pedestrian behavior. Drivers may not recognize the presence of a pedestrian in the intersection until they cause a devastating collision.
Boston drivers may “ease out,” pulling slowly into the right lane ahead of oncoming traffic instead of slowing down and waiting for an opening. This behavior can substantially increase the risk of a dangerous collision. At the same time, drivers in that oncoming traffic may assume that traffic will stay stopped for them or may fail to slow down enough to yield to that vehicle.
Rush hour in Boston begins around 4 p.m. on weekdays. It can last as late as 7 p.m. This extended rush hour can mean several potential dangers for Boston residents, including an increased risk of aggressive driving due to heavy traffic. Boston residents may also struggle with speeding behaviors as they hurry to reach their destinations after getting stuck in rush hour traffic.
StreetsBlog Mass notes several risky speeding behaviors in Massachusetts drivers. Along I-93, the Pike, Storrow Drive, the Longfellow Bridge, Soldiers Field Road, and the Riverway near Park Drive, drivers may travel at dangerous rates of speed that could prove a hazard to other drivers. Arborway and Centre Street remain some of the worst corridors for speeding across the Boston area.
For a free legal consultation, call 833-552-7274
The Deadliest Month for Traffic Fatalities in Boston
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July remains Massachusetts’s deadliest month for traffic fatalities. Several factors may contribute to the risk of devastating collisions during that time.
Fourth of July Celebrations
Drivers may be more likely to drink and drive over the 4th of July celebrations. Over four years, more than 1,390 drivers died in motor vehicle crashes over the 4th of July celebration period. Forty-one percent of those drivers had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit at the time of the collision.
Lack of School for Younger Drivers
During the summer months, younger drivers, between 16 and 19, typically do not have to be in school. Often, their parents will give them additional freedom, which may mean more time out on the road behind the wheel.
Young drivers generally have a three times greater chance of a fatal traffic accident than drivers 20 and over. Young drivers have less experience, so they may have a more challenging time navigating safely behind the wheel. They may also struggle more with distraction, which becomes increasingly common when they have friends or other passengers in the vehicle.
Increased Tourist Traffic
Each year, an estimated 22.7 million tourists visit the Boston area. While those tourists may bring several advantages, including potential revenue increases, they may pose a greater danger out on the streets. Tourists unfamiliar with the area may face challenges navigating Boston’s tight roads or struggle to make the correct turns.
Tourists may also have their attention locked on GPS devices, increasing the risk of distracted driving. Furthermore, tourists may engage in more reckless behavior on the roads. Since tourist traffic rises substantially during the summer months, it may also lead to an overall increase in accidents.
The Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control notes that motor vehicle accidents cost Boston substantially. Each year, the cost of motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts totals around $522 million. Adults between 20 and 34 account for the highest percentage of those costs, while adults between 35 and 64 have the second-highest costs.
Alcohol-Related Accidents Across Massachusetts
The CDC notes that in 10 years, 1,243 people died in alcohol-related crashes. Even more may have sustained severe injuries, including lasting injuries that could substantially impact the rest of their lives.
About 2.8 percent of Massachusetts residents who responded to a recent survey noted that they drove after drinking too much within the past ten days. Nationally, only around 1.7 percent of respondents described the same dangerous drinking and driving behaviors.
Alcohol-related crashes can lead to severe injury. In some cases, intoxicated drivers may have less control over their vehicles, poor decision-making skills, and a greater likelihood of driving dangerously.
According to the Massachusetts Highway Safety Plan, out of 165,556 national fatal crashes, 28 percent involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Massachusetts had an alcohol-impaired driver accident rate of 34 percent during that period. Boston remains one of the top 25 cities in the state for drug-impaired drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Boston drivers also cause 11 percent of pedestrian-related deaths involving alcohol across the state.
Reducing alcohol-impaired driving decisions can go a long way toward decreasing fatal accidents across the state. The Massachusetts Highway Safety Plan aims to help reduce those risks and increase safety for drivers across the state.
Safe Driving in Boston
Safe driving can involve several things, including wearing a seatbelt and following the rules of the road.
Maintaining a safe rate of speed can also go a long way toward helping keep everyone safer on the road.
- According to the Massachusetts Highway Safety Plan, Massachusetts ranks in the bottom five states for seatbelt use, with just 82 percent of residents using their seatbelts regularly.
- Suffolk County had 5.5 percent of all deaths related to a lack of seatbelt use in Massachusetts.
- Boston remains one of the top cities in Massachusetts for speed-related deaths.
- When Boston reduced the default speed limit to 25 miles per hour, according to Vision Zero Boston, the odds of speeding fell by 8.5 percent for vehicles exceeding 30 miles per hour and 29.3 percent for vehicles exceeding 35 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, Boston’s dangerous drivers can jeopardize everyone in the area. Boston.com readers note several vital problems that have led to increased concerns on Boston roadways, including failure to follow the basic rules of the road. Boston drivers may not respect bike and bus lanes, ignore the state’s hands-free driving law, or otherwise ignore the rules of the road.
Did You Get Into an Auto Accident in Boston?
If you suffer injuries in an auto accident in Boston, you may deserve compensation for those injuries. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you learn more about your right to compensation, including who likely bears liability for your accident and what steps you may need to take to maximize your ability to recover compensation for those injuries. Contact an attorney as soon after the accident as possible to discuss your next steps.