Massachusetts Speeding Accident Lawyer
Speeding Is One of the Top Causes of Auto Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes, and at a tremendous cost.” According to the agency’s statistics, in 2012 speeding was a primary or contributing factor in 30% of all fatal accidents, with more than 10,000 lives lost and an annual social cost of over $40 billion.
The faster an automobile goes, the less control a driver has over it, and the greater the risk of an accident. Speed reduces a driver’s ability to assess distance as well as the time needed to perform maneuvers. It also gives the driver less time to react to a sudden situation, and the car will need a greater distance to come to a stop. Sharp curves and slick or unstable surfaces are also much more difficult to negotiate at higher speeds.
In addition, speeding virtually guarantees that any injuries suffered in an accident will be of greater severity. Even with all the safety technology available on modern vehicles, seat belts, air bags, and neck and head protection, an accident at significant speed will be much more likely to result in serious injury.
Massachusetts Is Tough On Speeders
Many states have cracked down on speeding drivers in recent years, partially because of the fact that it contributes to so many accidents, but also because handing out speeding tickets is a top revenue generator. According to Popular Mechanics Magazine Online, the Bay State is the fifth worst state to get busted for speeding in, resulting in high fines, including a mandatory $50 donation to the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund. Speeding is not only dangerous, it’s expensive, but at least violators are contributing to a good cause.
To be more specific, according to state law, a driver caught driving just 15 miles over the posted speed limit will be subject to a $155 fine, and those fines go up the more over the speed limit the driver goes. As if that’s not steep enough, there are increased insurance premiums to consider. In Massachusetts, infractions remain on driving records for six years before being expunged, and insurance companies charge increased rates for each of those years. A driver in Boston will pay an extra $259 annually on average for their car insurance after getting a speeding ticket, multiplied by six years.
MA Speed Limit Regulations
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation regulates speed limits throughout the state with the assistance of traffic engineers and in cooperation with towns and municipalities. The state’s General Laws require “posted speed limits to be established through the issuance of special speed regulations. On State Highways, MassDOT is responsible for conducting an engineering study to establish a speed regulation. On municipal roadways, the municipality, usually in conjunction with MassDOT, collects data for the engineering study needed to establish a speed regulation. The MassDOT Traffic Engineering section reviews this data and prepares a speed regulation for approval by the MassDOT Highway Division and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Speed regulations for municipal roadways must also be approved by the municipality.”
Specific statutory speed limits in areas where no limits are otherwise posted are:
- 20 MPH in school zones
- 30 MPH within a 1/8 of a mile of business districts or heavily settled areas
- 40 MPH on undivided highways within a ¼ mile of the above-mentioned areas
- 50 MPH on divided highways within a ¼ mile of the above-mentioned areas
Speed limits are set for good reasons. Obeying them is not only safer, it’s a lot less expensive.
Peter Ventura has been a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts since 1985. Learn more about him here. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact him today for a free and confidential consultation.