Speeding Car Accidents in Massachusetts
Boston Car Accident Lawyers With Over 100 Years Combined Experience
When drivers are in a rush and disregard the speed limit, they create a public safety risk and can crash, injuring other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The risk is even greater when drivers of commercial trucks, tractor trailers and buses speed.
If you have been injured by a driver who was traveling too fast, contact an experienced Boston car accident attorney and learn your rights. You may be able to file a claim seeking compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-7237-7676 or use our contact form.
Massachusetts Speed Limits
Massachusetts law requires drivers to observe and obey the posted speed limit. When drivers speed, they may be stopped and cited by police and held liable if they cause anyone else injuries.
When there is no speed limit posted, drivers are expected to travel at a reasonable and safe speed limit set by the state. In thickly settled or business districts, drivers are generally not allowed to exceed 30 miles per hour. The speed limit is 20 miles per hour for areas established as school zones. On major highways such as the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 128, posted speed limits are generally 65 mph or higher, except in places such as the Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, where speed limits are reduced.
There was an important change to Massachusetts speed limit laws in August 2016, with the passage of the Municipal Modernization Act. Cities and towns can now lower the statutory speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph in thickly settled or business districts, under M.G.L. c. 90 §17C.
Determining the Vehicle's Speed in a Car Accident
When there is a car accident involving injury, a victim may be able to report the at-fault driver was speeding. But speed must be determined through a traffic investigation. An attorney can help you determine and confirm the driver's speed so you can make an effective claim seeking financial compensation for your losses.
Police may conduct an accident reconstruction investigation and our attorneys can work with them to advocate for your best interests and bring the full information to their attention. Our attorneys can also start our own independent investigation and interview witnesses, identify surveillance video and hire private traffic reconstruction experts.
25 mph Speed Limits in Massachusetts
Over the past few years, the City of Boston has led the way in the campaign to reduce speed limits and save lives in Massachusetts. According to the City of Boston's Vision Zero campaign, pedestrians have a 20 percent chance of being killed in a pedestrian accident caused by a driver traveling at 30 mph. The number drops to 12 percent when drivers are traveling 25 mph.
Boston petitioned the state Legislature for the authority to lower speed limits and this resulted in the passage of the Municipal Modernization Act, which allowed communities to lower the statutory speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph in thickly settled or business districts.
According to the MassDOT website, more than 40 communities across the state have lowered speeds, including Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Revere, Quincy and Somerville.
Speeding Accidents Caused by Commercial Trucks, Tractor-Trailers and Buses
Large vehicles cause 1,115 deadly crashes each year, according to federal statistics. Speed plays a role in many of these truck accidents. Trucks and large vehicles have a responsibility to follow speed limits and traffic signs, and slow down when appropriate in weather and traffic conditions. Trucks require specialized training to operate because they are heavier than other vehicles and braking takes longer.
In 2016, the Chicago Tribune reported the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had proposed capping speed limits to 60, 65 or 68 mph for trucks and large vehicles. The agencies wanted to place an electronic device on new vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds that would prevent truck drivers from speeding. There were several objections to the proposal, though the agencies presented some critical facts to support slower speeds. They said lowering the speed limit for heavy vehicles to 60 mph could save 498 lives each year. A 65 mph speed limit could save 214 lives. Even a 68 mph speed limit would save 96 lives, along with other non-fatal injuries.
Our law firm is known for our work representing those who have been injured by negligent truck drivers or tractor-trailers. We obtained a $3 million settlement for one client. In 2008, she was hit by an 18-wheel truck which crossed the center line and struck her vehicle. In this case, we oversaw a very thorough investigation, including disassembly of the truck's steering gear. The disassembly was critical because it found markings which supported the driver's claims that the steering may have locked. Our firm later brought claims against the driver and the truck owner. In turn, the defendants brought claims against the truck manufacturer and steering manufacturer.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured by a Speeding Vehicle
If you have been injured, make sure you receive medical treatment for your injuries. After that, we urge you to contact an attorney. Speeding car accidents often result in serious personal injuries as well as substantial damage to motor vehicles and property. There can be short-term injuries, such as broken bones and lacerations. Or there can be permanent or long-term injuries, such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries or paralysis. Injuries can require extensive medical treatment over a prolonged period. Those injured in motor vehicle accidents may be unable to return to work or enjoy their normal daily routine for several months or longer.
After a car accident, police will interview witnesses and perform an accident reconstruction investigation. It is to your advantage to hire an experienced car accident attorney during the investigation.
Contact the Boston Car Accident Lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck
If you have been involved in a Massachusetts car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages such as lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering from the driver’s insurance policy. You have a limited period of time to file a claim so it is critical to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or use our contact form.