Most Dangerous Roads in Massachusetts
- September 22, 2023 |
- Car Accidents
Most people have a driving routine where they travel the same routes and roads each day. This can lead to a false sense of security, especially if you are traveling on the most dangerous roads in your state. If you live in or drive through Massachusetts, you should learn about the most dangerous roads so you can anticipate extra risks your route may pose.
How are dangerous roads defined?
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) maintains information related to the top crash locations in the state. The most recent report is from 2017, but was noted to have been last reviewed in September 2020.
The report includes only data from accidents that were actually reported to authorities and then entered into the Crash Data System. It looked at traditional intersections and did not consider interstates or exit and entrance ramps. MassDOT ranks dangerous intersection crash locations by property damage, not by fatality or number of accidents.
Which are the most dangerous intersections?
MassDOT used reported crash data to locate “crash clusters.” They have identified numerous crash clusters in the state. Here are the top ten:
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Highway at Bridge Street in Lowell, MA
- Route 28 at Randolph Avenue and Chickatawbut Road in Milton, MA
- Route 203 at Morton Street and Harvard Street in Boston, MA
- Ash Street at Elm Street in Brockton, MA
- Route 110 at Appleton Street and Central Street in Lowell, MA
- Route 139 at Pleasant Street and Lincoln Street in Stoughton, MA
- Main Street and Plainfield in Springfield, MA
- High Street and Cabot Street in Holyoke, MA
- Broadway and Third Street in Chelsea, MA
- Saint James Avenue at Saint James Boulevard in Springfield, MA
You might be surprised by the locations of the most dangerous intersections in Massachusetts. One could have expected all or almost all of them to be in the largest city—Boston. As you can see, though, serious collisions can happen anywhere.
If you do not see an intersection you regularly travel through on this list, it does not mean your route is particularly safe. Any intersection can become dangerous, especially if traffic lights are malfunctioning. Drivers have no idea exactly how long a light will remain yellow and can end up running a red light. These behaviors cause not only vehicle crashes, but also bicycle, motorcycle, and pedestrian injuries as well. Drivers may not take the time to look for smaller vehicles and might not see others turning while rushing to make the light.
If you have been involved in a car accident, get in touch with Cava Law Firm by calling (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282). Whether you were in a vehicle, on a bicycle or motorcycle, or you were a pedestrian, our car accident lawyers can help recover damages for your accident injuries.
What contributes to dangerous roads in Massachusetts?
Despite what the MassDOT data show, a dangerous road is not just an intersection. It can be any interstate, highway, street, or roadway. Certain features contribute to the danger of a thoroughfare. Driver negligence can also make any street dangerous for other drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents can be classified depending on whether there is a collision and what the vehicle collides with. Specifically:
- Vehicles can hit each other.
- A car could crash into a fixed object such as a traffic signal support, bridge rail, guard rail, or tree.
- Collisions can occur with a non-fixed object such as a parked car, pedestrian, or animal.
- Non-collision accidents are caused by things such as pavement surface irregularities, rollovers, and jackknifes.
These categories make it clear that vehicle accidents can—and do—happen anywhere and for many reasons. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that make one roadway riskier than another, such as treacherous road conditions.
Major highways and interstates, unsurprisingly, tend to be among the most dangerous roadways. There are several reasons why interstates and major highways are so dangerous.
High-traffic routes, naturally, are dangerous because of the sheer number of distracted or negligent drivers. The more drivers and vehicles present, the more frustrated people get. Congestion is usually a sign of potential danger.
One more reason interstates are dangerous is the high speed of travel. The faster a vehicle goes, the more precise a driver’s movements have to be to stay safe. Any small turn of the steering wheel, for example, gets exaggerated at a high rate of speed. Rollovers also are more likely to happen when a vehicle travels quickly. due to the increased momentum.
Exit and entrance ramps can get particularly dangerous at high rates of speed. The turns are sharper than many drivers anticipate. Those on the interstate might not slow down to let another vehicle yield, or they might quickly change lanes to avoid an oncoming car. The vehicles entering the highway may not get up to speed quickly enough and cause a perilous situation.
Another reason Massachusetts interstates and highways can be dangerous is because there are many tolls. Drivers must be prepared to slow down or stop on a road that is otherwise intended for faster speeds. When toll lanes get congested, some drivers switch from one lane to another, in an attempt to find the fastest one. The changing speeds and darting cars cause tolls locations to be at an increased risk for collisions.
Interstates are also dangerous because they tend to have a higher proportion of drivers who are unfamiliar with Massachusetts roads. There are many tourists just passing through the state or who are on their way to the state’s popular tourist destinations. Lack of familiarity contributes, because the driver is less able to anticipate any dangers ahead. Vacationers frustrated with traffic and locals frustrated with the out-of-towners can also engage in negligent driving in an effort to arrive at their destination faster.
Finally, interstates are used for commerce, and that is where you find massive tractor trailers. These drivers are often rushing and facing a time limit to make a delivery. They may also be over-worked and fatigued from being on the road for hours without a break. The sheer size of their vehicles means limited visibility and catastrophic injuries if a collision happens.
Our Springfield truck accident lawyer have experience handling these specific types of cases. Call (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) to discuss your situation and learn about compensation you may be entitled to.
The weather can add to the dangers of a roadway, especially in winter with snow and ice accumulation. Even if it does not stick to the roads, any precipitation makes highways slicker. Cars driving over roadways can leave oil and drop debris, which, when mixed with rain or snow, makes it easier for cars to slip and slide. When a car hydroplanes, it is practically impossible to control.
Puddles are also a problem because drivers do not know how deep they are. Ice in winter also impacts road conditions. When you combine slippery roads with speeding, negligent driving can result.
Precipitation like rain and snow does not just affect the road, it also impacts visibility. Even with windshield wipers on, it becomes harder to see through the snowflakes or downpour. Of course, when it is harder to see where you are driving, your chances of having a crash increase.
The way certain roads are built and the land they run through can make them dangerous. It is no surprise that roads in hilly areas can be treacherous if you lose control going down a steep incline or lose visibility going up a steep climb. It is impossible to see around sharp turns. These sorts of road features can cause accidents even for experienced drivers.
Local roads right off of a highway can have negligent drivers who go too quickly. They fail to slow down after exiting the busy roadway and entering smaller communities. The local roads may also be poorly lit. All of these contribute to dangerous driving conditions of which you should be aware.
If you have been injured in a car accident on any road in Massachusetts, contact the car crash lawyers at Cava Law Firm for legal assistance with your claim. You may be entitled to recover for the damages you suffered. Call us today to schedule a free consultation: (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282).