What is Defensive Driving & Can it Help Prevent Accidents in Massachusetts?

Generally, defensive driving encompasses skills and techniques to operate your motor vehicle in a safe, strategic way. This will allow you to identify and predict dangers on the roadways and highways to help avoid serious car crashes, injuries and death. Defensive driving courses and training are available and may be a great idea considering the increase in accidents and traffic fatalities in Massachusetts over the last several years.

If you’ve never been involved in a serious accident or had someone close to you lost or seriously injured in a crash, you may not fully appreciate the emotional and financial impacts they can cause. Here at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we have seen firsthand the consequences of serious accidents. We have helped numerous accident victims and families, who have been emotionally and financially affected by car crashes throughout Massachusetts. While many accident victims make full recoveries, others are left with lifelong disabilities and trauma. Defensive driving skills are very helpful and may assist you in avoiding the disasters serious motor vehicle accidents can cause.

Why Should You Consider Learning About Defensive Driving?

Car accidents are extremely stressful and traumatizing events. Accidents that result in severe injuries can cause short-term and long-term effects and disability, extensive medical procedures and treatment as well as significant pain and suffering. On the financial end of it, accident victims often incur very expensive medical bills and lost wages from being unable to work due to their injuries. Fatal crashes cause life altering emotional trauma for the surviving loved ones. While not all accidents are preventable, defensive driving will provide drivers with the knowledge and skills to help them avoid a serious crash and these devastating consequences.

Pursuant to data gathered by sources, including the National Safety Council and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, traffic fatalities in Massachusetts have risen over the last few years. According to the most recent statistics provided by the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2017 there were 350 traffic fatalities in Massachusetts.

These statistics are concerning and warrant serious consideration of defensive driving practices, especially for new and younger drivers. The skills and techniques of defensive driving will help reduce the probability of being involved in a crash and suffering serious, sometimes fatal injuries.

Overview of Defensive Driving

As stated above, defensive driving courses and training provide drivers with the skills and techniques needed to help them defend against potential car crashes. The defensive skills help drivers identify hazards and avoid crashes caused by poor, negligent drivers, drunk drivers, and bad weather conditions.

Defensive driving emphasizes safe driving practices. For example, drivers should always keep their focus on driving and the roadway and traffic ahead. Avoiding distractions is also a very important aspect of defensive driving, especially nowadays with all the new technological advances in cars and cellphones. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents across the country and in Massachusetts. Drivers are also urged to keep their eyes constantly moving to spot and identify potential hazards. When a driver identifies a potential danger on the road or highway, the defensive driving skills help drivers make safe decisions and maneuvers to avoid crashes and serious injuries.

Many tips for defensive driving include, among others, understanding and abiding by the traffic laws, properly using safety equipment (e.g. seatbelts) avoiding distractions while driving (e.g., texting, using your cell phone and eating behind the wheel), controlling your speed, planning for unexpected traffic or weather conditions, and safely reacting to negligent, careless drivers. Implementing many of these tips and learning more about defensive driving will help you and your loved ones stay safe out on the roadways and highways.

What To Do If You Have Been Involved in an Accident in Massachusetts

Some car crashes may be preventable. Many times, however, regardless of how safe you drive, accidents cannot be avoided. Other careless drivers, their reckless driving habits and speed can cause or contribute to accidents and injuries. A serious crash that results in severe injuries will have an almost certain financial impact on your life. If the accident was due to someone else’s fault, why should you or your family be burdened with the with the financial consequences of extensive medical treatment and lost time at work? In those situations, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and financial losses. In order to determine if you are entitled to compensation after an accident, you should always consider speaking with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer.

An experienced attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case, answer your questions and let you know if you have a valid claim for compensation. The first issue to review is how the crash happened. In personal injury claims that arise from a motor vehicle crash, the accident victim must prove that the other driver caused the accident and injuries. To establish fault, the accident victim bears the burden of proving the other driver was negligent. Negligence in the context of a motor vehicle crash is basically the failure to operate a vehicle in a safe manner that reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation.

If the other driver is determined to be negligent and responsible for causing the accident, the next step is to determine damages. Damages are the financial and noneconomic losses an accident victim suffers in a crash. In a personal injury claim from a car accident, an accident victim may receive compensation for medical bills for required treatment, lost wages or lost earning capacity, pain and suffering and more.

The attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP in Framingham can educate you on the personal injury claim process and answer your questions about how you can pursue financial compensation. Taking the appropriate legal action after a crash will put you in the best position to get the compensation you deserve after being injured in a crash.

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