It’s common for cities to claim that their roads are very dangerous and that their drivers are incredibly aggressive as some point of pride. The implication might be that a city’s drivers are superior, or more alert, or perhaps braver or more daring. Whatever the case, Boston is a serious contender for the dubious honor of “most dangerous roads and drivers in America.”
Boston is an old city, and as such many of its roads are not designed to be optimized for automobiles. There is a somewhat infamous plaque detailing Boston’s many complicated and bizarre intersections. See for yourself. These roads would be tough to manage even if every driver was docile, and Bostonians on the roadway are anything but.
All of these factors create a significant risk of a car accident happening to you in the Boston city limits. If you find yourself in a car accident, reach out to a Boston Car accident lawyer for help.
Long and Winding Roads
Boston is old. So old, in fact, there wasn’t really a thought process for the layout of the city. In the 17th century, when Boston was founded, city planning was more of an optional suggestion. When Philadelphia was founded in the 1680s, William Penn decided to build the city on a grid system – a novel concept at the time. Boston was founded around 1630, 50 years earlier. Grid city planning was even less common then.
Consequently, the then-town of Boston expanded in an organic, unplanned way. Moreover, the roadways were designed with horses and carriages in mind, not automobiles that wouldn’t exist for several centuries. Even with hundreds of years of road renovation and changes, many roads in Boston are still extremely narrow, have many twists and turns, or both.
If driving your vehicle through a veritable hedge maze wasn’t enough of an issue, other drivers might be. Boston ranks among the cities with the worst drivers in America. Some studies argue it might take first place in that regard. Bostonian drivers have been described as “aggressive” and “careless” by residents. Some have gone as far as to say there is an “inherent sense of entitlement.” Such entitlement could lead to drivers believing they are the most important person on the road. When every driver believes they are the main character, accidents are more likely to happen because of a lack of concern for fellow motorists.
Tips for Safe Driving in Boston, MA
Good driving habits are helpful on any roadway, but in a city with many winding paths populated by aggressive drivers, it is even more important to be vigilant on the road and be a responsible motorist.
Do Not Drink and Drive
This should really go without saying, but driving while drunk is incredibly dangerous. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities on the road across the entire United States. In a car accident involving drunk driving, the intoxicated driver is actually more likely to survive, since their body is less tense than a sober person’s body on impact, and the force of the crash is better absorbed.
Drunk driving doesn’t just greatly increase the risk of a car accident. It also has serious criminal penalties attached. Driving under the influence can result in the loss or suspension of your license or a prison sentence.
Get Enough Sleep
A sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. An FMSCA study found that being awake for 24 hours consecutively was the equivalent of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%. Sleep deprivation leads to slower decision-making and a reduced ability to react to rapidly changing road circumstances.
For example, if a Boston driver decides that the roadway is theirs and theirs alone and then moves into your lane prematurely, a sleepy driver is not going to react as quickly as one who got enough sleep. You might get hit when you otherwise wouldn’t.
If you believe that a Boston motorist who hit you was sleep deprived, they might be considered negligent in a court of law and liable for your injuries.
Follow Traffic Laws
Basic traffic etiquette might seem banal and boring, but it exists for a reason. Don’t run red lights. Follow speed limits. Use your turn signals properly. If an accident happens to you and you weren’t following the rules of the road, it could be seen as carelessness on your part and reduce your recovery. If a court finds that you were 51% at fault or more in an accident, you won’t recover any damages.
In addition, avoid drivers who seem dangerous or unpredictable. Admittedly, this might be tough to do on a Boston road, but do your best. Give dangerous drivers a wide berth on the road so that you have more time to react to any sudden move. If someone is speeding behind you, let them pass. Your “spot” on the road isn’t worth the destruction a car accident can wreak.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Safe
Make sure your vehicle is squared away before getting on the road. Schedule routine inspections to find any issues. If a defective part is found in your vehicle and you get injured because of it, you might be able to sue the manufacturer. You cannot do this, however, if you don’t make an effort to keep your vehicle up to snuff. Ensure that your vehicle is as safe as possible before hitting the gas.
Interesting Related Article: “The actual consequences of driving intoxicated“