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Causes of Car Accidents in Boston

It is well known that Boston is a dangerous place to drive. Even the most careful drivers are at risk. A recent report of America’s Best Drivers ranked Boston drivers as the second worst in the nation, at 199 out of 200 major cities, with only Worcester drivers ranked worst. Read more to learn the causes of car accidents.

causes of car accidentsAggressive driving in Boston is a common practice. The heavy commuter traffic and high number of aggressive drivers make it almost inevitable that you, or someone you know, will be in a serious car accident. Research also found that the average Boston driver can expect to be involved in a car accident about once every four years – an alarming statistic.

If you have been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you can hold them accountable for your losses. You can seek and obtain compensation from an at-fault driver for your medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, lost income as you recover, pain and suffering, and more.

The aggressive litigators of Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers can help you pursue a car accident claim. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We can get to work for you right away.

Why Did Your Car Accident Happen?

There are many types of driver behaviors that prove to be dangerous or deadly. In a recent report, transportation researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed thousands of accidents and assigned the critical reason for the crash to the driver in 94 percent of accidents. The researchers cited a failure or degradation of a vehicle component or environmental factors such as slick roads or weather in about two percent of crashes each.

Drivers were found to have made:

  • Recognition or inattention errors in 41 percent of the crashes
  • Judgment errors such as driving too fast for conditions, illegal maneuver or incorrectly assuming another driver’s actions in 33 percent of accidents
  • Performance errors in 11 percent of accidents
  • Non-performance errors, i.e., being asleep at the wheel (7 percent)
  • Other driver errors (8 percent).

Police and other law enforcement officials commonly attribute the causes of accidents as:

speedingMany Boston drivers drive too fast for road or weather conditions. Nationally, speeding is a factor in about one third of car accidents every year. It is extremely dangerous, and often leads to collisions caused by a driver being unable to stop their speeding vehicle soon enough. As speed increases, the impact of a collision increases exponentially, which in turn increases the severity of property damage and injury. Younger drivers —particularly young, male drivers involved in fatal crashes —are most likely to have been speeding, the NHTSA says.

Aggressive Driving
aggressive drivingAggressive driving is driving behavior that affects other road users by placing them in unnecessary danger. Aggressive driving includes tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, excessive speeding, running red lights, passing on the right, and weaving in traffic. Aggressive driving may also involve driver anger and result in physical confrontations. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 56 percent of fatal crashes involved one or more driver actions associated with aggressive driving, the most common being excessive speed.

Distracted Driving
Drivers who engage in texting while driving, or talking on cell phones are a danger to others on the road. Activities such as eating, personal grooming, talking with passengers or interacting systems with car electronics can cause distraction and contribute to accidents. Since 2010, Massachusetts’ Safe Driving Law has prohibited sending, typing or reading electronic messages from handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle. The law bans the use of all handheld electronic devices by junior operators while behind the wheel.

Fatigued Driving
drowsy drivingFatigued driving has reached epidemic proportions. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that drowsy drivers are involved in 21 percent of fatal crashes. In a recent AAA Foundation survey, more than a third of drivers admitted to having fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point, and 11 percent said they had fallen asleep while driving in the previous year. Being drowsy slows reaction time decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases the risk of a crash.

Drunk Driving
drinking and drivingA driver who is intoxicated poses a serious risk to all other drivers and their passengers, as well as pedestrians. Alcohol intoxication causes a driver to make bad decisions, to swerve, to speed, to drive in the wrong direction, and to have slowed reaction time. There were 118 drunk driving fatalities in Massachusetts in 2013, equaling nearly 10 deaths every month. Alcohol-impaired driving is the second leading cause of car accident fatalities in Boston. Many more drunk driving accidents cause significant personal injuries and property damage every day.

Road Hazards
road hazardsBoston drivers are used to road hazards, particularly potholes and road construction work zones. Sometimes the condition of the road or a work zone endangers drivers because the work zone is not set up properly. Uneven pavement or sudden lane changes may cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. If a neglected road hazard or poorly designed work zone contributes to an accident, the governmental agency, contractor or others may be held accountable.

Automotive Failure
We’re all familiar with cars and car parts being recalled because defects in their design and/or manufacture have been discovered. Unfortunately, serious accidents usually bring attention to the faulty car parts prior to the recall. When faulty automotive parts or systems, like tires, brakes, air bags, steering or ignition systems, cause car accidents, the manufacturer and others may be held liable for injured persons’ losses through a product liability claim.

When to Get an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Boston

If you have been involved in a car accident that has left you injured and facing hospital bills, lost income and the prospects of a long recovery, contact the lawyers at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers in Boston if you would like to file a car accident injury claim. We will investigate every aspect of your accident to document what happened and who should be held liable, as well as what settlement is necessary to ensure your full financial recovery.

We understand the serious impacts that car accidents cases have on families. We keep all of our clients informed throughout the claims process. We’ll work to ensure that your claim moves toward a successful conclusion with as little burden on you as possible.

For a free consultation about your legal options after a car accident, call us today or fill out our free consultation form to have one of our car accident lawyers contact you!


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Fill out our contact form below for your free, no obligation case review.

I would highly recommend Michael Kelly to anyone who is seeking a knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated lawyer.

Frensis P.



Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.


You want to select a seasoned car accident attorney who you can trust to fight for you and never give up. At Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients.
  • You should work with a Boston lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of Massachusetts personal injury law.
  • You should choose an accident lawyer who has handled numerous similar cases. Our energetic lawyers at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers work on car accident cases every day.
  • You should select a lawyer who is a good communicator. one who will keep you informed of developments in your case and who will return your phone calls when you have questions.
  • You should select an lawyer who will investigate your case thoroughly and pursue it where it leads.
  • You should be represented by a lawyer who has proven skills in negotiating settlements with insurance companies. We have settled hundreds of cases.
  • You should select a trial lawyer who has the litigation skills to take your case to court if necessary. Having a trial lawyer negotiating on your behalf signals to the insurance companies that you are serious about receiving full compensation. Insurance companies are more likely to offer maximum compensation if they know they will end up in court otherwise. The lawyers at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers are talented, experienced trial lawyers.


Related Information

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should initially file a claim with the insurer of the car in which you were riding. Drivers in Massachusetts are required to carry certain mandatory amounts of auto insurance coverage including Personal Injury Protection. This is sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance. PIP covers the medical bills for each person in the car who is injured in an accident. Regardless of who caused the accident, the insurance company should cover your medical bills for personal injuries and may cover a portion of your lost wages up to $8,000 per person, according to the terms of the policy.

If your injuries are more serious and exceed $2,000 or meet certain conditions such as involving broken bones, spinal cord injury, serious disfigurement, eye damage or hearing loss, burn injuries, then you may be entitled to file a car accident lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries and other losses if another driver was at fault in the accident.

Medical Bills

You may have a right to seek car accident compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation, prescribe medicines and the costs of your future medical treatment for rehabilitation related to your injuries.

Lost Wages

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows you to seek compensation for lost income if your injuries forced you to miss work. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or limit the type of work you can perform, then you may seek compensation for your reduced earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Massachusetts juries may award compensation for both physical and emotional pain. You may seek compensation for your pain and mental anguish, as well as the past and future shock and anxiety resulting from your injury. This is commonly referred to as pain and suffering.


If your injuries caused scarring and disfigurement, the loss of a limb or changes in your appearance, you may seek compensation for disfigurement.

Property Damage

You may seek compensation to pay for your car repairs or replace your car if it was totaled.


All drivers in the state of Massachusetts have a legal responsibility to operate their cars with reasonable care so they do not put other at risk. If a driver shirks his or her legal duty and drivers in a careless manner such as speeding running a traffic light, the driver is considered to be negligent in the eyes of the law.

An insurance claims adjuster will make a determination of fault based on the police accident report, witness statements, medical records, and evidence gathered at the scene.

In some car accidents, more than one driver or other party is partially at fault. Massachussetts uses the legal doctrine of comparative fault in these cases. A jury will be instructed to determine the degree of fault that each party bears for causing an accident. In the Commonwealth, you may still collect damages in a car accident lawsuit so long as you are no more that 50 percent responsible for causing of your injuries. If you are found to be partly responsible, any car accident compensation you are awarded would be reduced proportionately by your percentage of fault.

For example, if a Suffolk County jury awarded $100,000 in damages and found that you were 25 percent at fault for causing your own injuries, then you would be entitled to recieve $75,000 in damages.

For minor accidents, Massachusetts handles most of them under No Fault rules. In this situation drivers cannot take each other to court for auto accidents unless the following conditions occur:

You have incurred $2,000 or more in medical bills or other expenses.

You have suffered a serious injury as the result of a Boston auto accident which can include loss of hearing or vision, broken bones and or permanent disfigurement.


The state of Massachusetts has a few specific requirements for car insurance to make sure residents have coverage that is adequate in case they are involved in an accident. These requirements are in place to protect you but can quickly increase the cost of your policy's rates depending on the limits you choose. If you're a safe driver you will probably be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium.

You must carry the following 4 types of insurance if you own a vehicle in the state of Massachusetts:

Bodily Injury
to Other

per person

per accident

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

per person in an accident

Damage to Someone Else's Property

per accident

Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto

per person

per accident

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is coverage that will cover you or your passenger's injuries caused in an auto accident. This coverage is there regardless of who is at fault.


You have three years from the date of your auto accident to file a car accident claim in a Massachusetts court. This statue of limitations is your deadline and is the same three years for wrongful death and product liability cases. The deadline may be extended in special circumstances to allow for discovery of an injury if it was not detectable until long after the crash.

For claims againts a government entity. claims must be handled within 30 days of the accident or injury.


Dealing with a insurance company that has denied your claim can be extremely frustrating. If you are trying to recover from a serious injury such as broken bones, it can add to your stress and slow your recovery. It is important to understand why your claim was denied.

You should seek the help of a Boston car accident lawyer if another driver's insurance company has denied your claim. An experienced attorney can review the facts regarding the auto accident claim and explain whether you

have a valid claim and what steps to take. Having a clear understanding of your legal options is important to know how to proceed. If the insurance company was acting in bad faith, the accident lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault driver and his or her insurer to pursue car accident compensation.


It is well known that boston is a dangerous place to drive. Boston has heavy commuter traffic and a high number of aggressive drivers that make it more likely that you or someone you know will be involved in a serious accident. There are many types of driver behaviors that prove to be dangerous or deadly. Among the common causes of accidents are:
Blind Spots
Work Zone Construction


Multi-Vehicle Accidents