Over the course of 2012, a total of 161 drivers of vehicles were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Massachusetts. According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, there were also 48 passengers killed along with 72 pedestrians, 15 bike riders and 51 motorcyclists. The total number of fatalities due to vehicle collisions was 349, while another 4,384 people were seriously hurt in vehicle crashes.
A personal injury lawyer knows that many of the accidents are caused by dangerous driver behaviors, like driving while distracted. Most motorists know about the risks of talking on a cell phone or doing other tasks behind the wheel. Yet, a recent study revealed that drivers are intentionally doing tasks that they describe as dangerous when others engage in the very same behaviors.
Driving Safety Views Change As a Passenger
According to a recent survey conducted by Rutgers University Medical School:
- Around 90 percent of respondents think that it is extremely dangerous to read a newspaper, book or tablet when driving. These respondents would be nervous in the car as passengers with a driver who was reading.
- Around 87 percent of respondents said they would be nervous as a passenger in the car with a driver reading or responding to texts or emails.
- Around 60 percent of respondents said they would be concerned if they were in a car with a driver who was on a hand-held cell phone. A much smaller percentage, just 45 percent, expressed concern about being a passenger in the car with a driver using a hands-free device.
- Around 50 percent of respondents said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car with a driver who was eating, and 23 percent described eating or drinking behind the wheel as very
Despite the fact that so many people said they would be concerned about these behaviors as passengers, a good number of the very same respondents said that they do these things themselves. For example, 10 percent said they email, five percent said they had fallen asleep at least briefly behind the wheel, and around 50 percent said that they talked on their phone, ate or drank while driving.
Because of the inconsistent results, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Public Health and Rutgers School of Health Related professions indicated that the study shows: "In general, drivers are intolerant of behaviors perceived as risky or prone to cause distraction in other drivers, but many do engage in these behaviors themselves."
Drivers know what behaviors they should not engage in, and they should hold themselves to the same standard they hold others to when they are passengers. If every motorist made a commitment not to engage in behaviors that he finds to be high risk, the death toll would drop in Massachusetts and the roads could be safer for everyone.
Boston accident victims may contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 or can visit http://www.marksalomone.com. Serving Boston, Back Bay, Fenway, North End, South End, Allston, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and surrounding areas.