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Boston Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

Funneling informational statistics and relevant data down to a local level is an arduous process. Massachusetts currently has 14 counties and based on the latest U.S. census, 351 cities. Boston is the most populated city in the state, with a population of 684,379, while the community of Gosnold only has 47 citizens.

“Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Statistics teaches people to use a limited sample to make intelligent and accurate conclusions about a greater population.” ~ Introduction To

“Boston” is a metropolitan area, encompassing the communities of Saugus, Revere, Everett, Chelsea, Winthrop, Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Hingham, and Weymouth, and motor vehicle accidents are a constant threat in every one of these communities, as well as throughout the Commonwealth.

Numbers and percentages sometimes have little, or no, relative value when standing alone without a frame of reference for comparison. Grouped by source for ease in reading, these curated statistics are pertinent, relevant, and helpful when it comes to understanding the dangers and consequences of motor vehicle accidents in Boston. When it comes to the possibility of sustaining a personal injury from a motor vehicle crash, Boston is a hotspot for speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and daily frustration from infrastructure repair and roadway congestion.

Fatalities from speed-related crashes in Boston are the highest they have been in five years, despite a reduction in roadway traffic since the coronavirus pandemic.—The Boston Herald

These Boston intersections are among the top 200 intersections, statewide, for crashes, according to the Massachusetts Department Of Transportation:

  1. Morton Street and Harvard Street
  2. Gallivan Blvd. and Adams Street
  3. Gallivan Blvd. and Granite Avenue
  4. Massachusetts Avenue Connector and Frontage Road
  5. Gallivan Blvd, and Dorchester Avenue
  6. Morton Street and Gallivan Blvd
  7. Riverway and Longwood Avenue

Moreover:

  • 2,917 crashes took place over the past five years on Route 24.
  • In the first nine months of 2021, 26 fatalities were recorded in the city of Boston.
  • 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 accidents involving bicycles, with 49 crashes and 26 injuries/fatalities.

A recent report shows Boston ranking second in the country for cities with the most number of DUIs.—QuoteWizzard

A total of 36,096 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2019.—The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • 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.
  • Truck drivers are less likely to see a bicyclist approaching the driver’s side than any other vehicle type.
  • July is the deadliest month for traffic accident fatalities in Massachusetts, citing 4th of July celebrations, no school for young drivers, and increased tourist traffic as the probable reason.
  • Statewide, 50 percent of motor vehicle fatalities are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • 60 percent of motor vehicle fatalities happen between 3 pm, and 3 am.
  • Nationally, people between the ages of 25 and 34 have a higher probability of being in a fatal crash than any other age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Recent studies show the total cost of motor vehicle fatalities in Massachusetts is $522 million.
  • The highest costs are attributed to adults between ages 20-34, followed by those between ages 35-64.
  • Publicized sobriety checkpoints are allowed in Massachusetts.

Where alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents are concerned, the CDC says:

  • In 10 years, 1,243 people died in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident.
  • A behavioral risk survey reported 2.8 percent of the Massachusetts participants reported driving after drinking too much within the past 10 days, as compared to the national average of 1.7 percent.

The CDC says we can win these battles:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the first three decades of Americans’ lives.
  • Motor vehicle crashes kill about 96 people every day.
  • Motor vehicle-related injuries send more than 2.3 million people to hospital emergency departments every year.

Distracted driving creates additional problems, according to the CDC:

  • Annually in the United States, crashes involving distracted drivers kill over 2,800 people and injure about 400,000.
  • A recent “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” showed 39 percent of high school students texted or emailed while driving.

The Massachusetts Highway Safety Plan details the state’s dire statistics:

  • In five years, out of 165,556 national fatal crashes, 28.0 percent were alcohol-impaired driver related. In the same period, Massachusetts’ rate of alcohol-related fatalities was 34.6 percent.
  • Massachusetts ranks in the bottom five states for seatbelt use (82 percent).
  • Among the top 25 communities in Massachusetts, Boston has the most traffic fatalities.
  • Boston leads the state in the top 25 cities for drug-impaired drivers in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Boston drivers are responsible for 11 percent of the states’ pedestrian accidents involving alcohol.
  • Suffolk County represented 5.5 percent of all unrestrained deaths in Massachusetts.
  • Boston ranks in the states’ top cities for speed-related deaths.

According to Vision Zero Boston:

  • In the first three quarters of 2021, 1,519 automobiles crashed in Boston—139 crashes involving pedestrians.
  • After Boston reduced the default speed limit to 25 mph, the odds of speeding fell by 8.5 percent for vehicles exceeding 30 mph and 29.3 percent for vehicles exceeding 35 mph.

According to Tripsavvy:

  • Rush hour in Boston usually begins around 4 p.m. on weekdays and can last until as late as 7 p.m.
  • Bostonians will jaywalk, and the laws against doing so are rarely enforced by the law, even in busy intersections.

According to Boston Discovery Guide:

  • Driving in Boston is not for the faint-hearted.
  • Boston pedestrians embrace a culture of jaywalking.
  • “Easing out” occurs when a driver pulls slowly into the right lane ahead of on-coming traffic without looking.
  • In a rotary, assume the other drivers have the right of way.

According to StreetsBlog Mass:

  • There is a lot of speeding on major roadways, particularly along I-93, the Pike, and Storrow Drive, as well as the Longfellow Bridge, Soldiers Field Road, and the Riverway near Park Drive.
  • Arborway between Forest Hills and Jamaica Pond—currently the subject of a redesign study—is also highlighted as one of the city’s worst corridors for speeding, as is Centre Street.

According to Allstate America:

  • Out of 200 cities, Boston ranked 198 for safe driving.

According to Channel 4 CBS Boston:

  • Boston’s “traffic and infrastructure” rank is 94th out of 100.
  • The city is tied with Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia for the highest annual hours spent in congestion per auto commuter.

According to Thrillist:

  • Boston drivers submit more than two and a half times as many insurance claims as drivers in America’s other 200 most populous cities.
  • A “Boston Left”, also known as a Massachusetts left, occurs when two cars, facing each other at a traffic signal with no turn arrow, compete to make his or her turn before the light changes.
  • Boston is said to have only two seasons, winter and construction.

According to the Massachusetts State Highway Safety Report:

  • On a five-year average, Massachusetts has a recorded 2,573 serious highway injuries per year.

According to Nerdwallet:

  • The national average cost of car insurance is $1,592 per year for a driver with good credit.
  • The national average cost of car insurance following an at-fault accident is $2,439.
  • The national average cost of car insurance after a DUI is $3,114.

According to Bankrate:

  • In Massachusetts, the average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy is $1,223.
  • In Boston, the average cost of car insurance is $1,554—this is 27 percent above the state average.
  • Other cities in Massachusetts with average auto insurance costs above the state average are:
  1. Springfield—$1,695
  2. Brockton—$1,993
  3. Dorchester—$2,253
  4. Lawrence—$1.698
  5. Malden—$1.775

According to Boston.com:

  • Readers cite excessive speed, a failure to follow basic rules of the road, bike, and bus lanes, and drivers ignoring the state’s hands-free driving law as problems contributing to the mounting issues on the roadway.
  • Bostonians average an insurance claim every 3.9 years, compared to the national average of about once every 10 years.
  • Eighteen-wheel trucks traveling in the high-speed lane on Route 95 are a problem
  • Route 95 has become the German Autobahn.
  • If you drive 65 mph you will get run off the road.
  • Speeding, tailgating, and weaving—much more than normal.
  • Seems roadway signs (Stop, Yield, No Left Turn) and traffic lights have just become suggestions, not rules of the road.

According to Boston Magazine, The state is 45th in the nation in seatbelt use; “one in four of us does not wear a seatbelt.”

According to Boston.gov, children, persons with disabilities, older adults, pedestrians, and cyclists suffer disproportionately in crashes.

The top 10 areas with these vulnerable residents are:

  • 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

Boston’s Safest Driver, hosted by the City of Boston and promoted by Age-Friendly Boston provides participants with feedback on five driving metrics:

  1. Speed
  2. Acceleration
  3. Braking
  4. Cornering
  5. Phone distraction

The greatest number of participants were from the neighborhoods of

  1. Dorchester, with 127 participants
  2. Allston, with 96 participants
  3. Roxbury, 77 participants
  4. Somerville, 70
  5. South Boston, 65
  6. East Boston, 60
  7. West Roxbury, 56
  8. Jamaica Plain, 54
  9. Quincy, 54
  10. Cambridge, 51

The three intersections with the highest number of speeding incidents in the metro Boston area:

  1. Longfellow Bridge as it merges with Main Street in Cambridge.
  2. Soldiers Field Road by the Newell Boathouse.
  3. The Riverway section by the Boston University Fenway Campus.

The top three areas recording the highest number of distraction incidents

  1. Longfellow Bridge as it merges with Main Street in Cambridge.
  2. Longfellow Bridge as it approaches Cambridge Street in Boston.
  3. The intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street.

Other high levels of distraction-related problem areas include:

  1. The intersection of Brookline Avenue, Boylston Street, and Park Drive.
  2. The intersection of Longwood Avenue and the Riverway.
  3. Huntington Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Tremont Street.
  4. The intersection of Malcolm X Boulevard and Columbus Avenue.
  5. The intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

The top three worst areas for harsh braking incidents:

  1. Cambridge Parkway as it merges onto Edwin H Land Boulevard.
  2. The intersection of Powell Street and Freeman Street.
  3. The intersection of the I-93 Frontage Road and the Massachusetts Avenue Connector leading into Melnea Cass Boulevard.

The top 3 worst areas for hard cornering:

  1. East Boston Expressway off-ramp as it merges with George R. Visconti Road.
  2. Section of Storrow Drive that crosses over Charlesgate.
  3. Edwin H Land Boulevard by the Longfellow Bridge.

The top 3 worst areas for acceleration are:

  1. Park Drive, between Brookline Ave and Beacon Street.
  2. Longfellow Bridge as it approaches Cambridge Street.
  3. Airport Way—the road that connects Hotel Drive and Logan Memorial Way around the Hilton Boston Logan Airport Hotel.

There have been significant reductions in unsafe behaviors:

  1. A 33 percent decrease in overall risky behaviors.
  2. A 48 percent decrease in distraction behaviors.
  3. A 57 percent decrease in harsh braking.
  4. A 38 percent decrease in speeding.

A total of 2,920,080 driver miles were recorded and analyzed during a recent 12-week period from May to July.

Contact a Boston car accident attorney to find out how they may help you or your family recover after a car crash and discuss your legal options.