A general decrease in car accidents and vehicle related fatalities has been taking place in Massachusetts over the past six years or so. While some counties (Worcester and Plymouth primarily) are still experiencing fluctuating numbers between years, a steady overall decline seems to be developing. Most online records have not been updated since 2012-2013 but the graphs provided indicate that this is a trend that could realistically continue.
Car crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries stemming from car accidents have decreased substantially from 2010-2012. The statistics do show a slight increase in fatalities between 2010-2011, but then the numbers become lower again during the 2011-2012 time frame. The Massachusetts Government reports that the total number of car crashes between 2010 and 2012 has dwindled by as many as 8,317. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration similarly reported that in 2010 motor vehicle crashes resulted in the lowest number of fatalities since 1949.
Accident rates appear to be dropping for a number of different reasons. The development of safer cars is one factor. The increased awareness of the deadly effects of drunk driving has also been a key aspect in lessening the number of accidents taking place. These developments attest to the notion that informed drivers are safe drivers. If the public is made aware of the harmful effects their poor driving habits could have, they are statistically proving that they learn from this evidence. Another contributing factor to the decrease in accidents is that gasoline prices have been on the rise over the past few years, while the economy has simultaneously weakened, which results in people driving shorter distances and less frequently in order to conserve money.
Research also finds that since 2006-2007 the number of teen driving accidents has also lessened. New laws were put into place to ensure that teens were being prepared properly prior to taking their license exams. Studies show that when teens are provided with increased training requirements, they become safer drivers when they are finally allowed on the road. Highlighting the fact that driving is in fact a privilege and not a right provides teens with the prospective that they need to start developing safe driving habits. Overall, fewer teens seem to be applying for their license since this new law was enacted, and those teens who do decide to hit the road are doing so with safer driving patterns.
Generally speaking it appears as though when you make driving related safety information more readily available to the public, they will respond with positive actions. Staying informed and being proactive are proving to make a significant amount of difference in the driving world. From new drivers to those who have been on the road for years, the lessening of car accidents and accident related fatalities is an initiative that everyone can get behind. Accidents can still occur anywhere and at any time, but the silver lining here is that these unfortunate circumstances are less common than they once were.
*Further charts and graphs can be viewed at the following links: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf