We all see the occasional reports that come out by various organizations, listing “Best Places To Live,” “Best Companies to Work For,” and many other kinds of lists.

Allstate Insurance Co. just released a report listing the best & worst 200 cities in the U.S. when it comes motor vehicle drivers.  Care to know where Boston came in?  200th.  Yes, you read that correctly: 200th out of 200 of the worst cities in the U.S., when it comes to motor vehicle drivers.  Number 199 out of the worst 200?  Worcester, Mass.

What an ignominious distinction.  Shamefully, it is well-known.  (In fact, you’ll pardon my French as they say, but Massachusetts drivers are commonly referred to by drivers in other states as “Massholes.”)  What is it about Massachusetts drivers that make us so horrible on the road?  It would be one thing if we landed, say 100th out of 200, or somewhere in the middle of the list – but the worst on a list of 200 U.S.. cities?   This is downright awful.  As a Massachusetts Operating to Endanger lawyer, I see these cases every day:  Extreme speeding, Driving to Endanger, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Massachusetts Immediate Threat Suspensions.   These criminal charges can be very serious.  The car accident injuries that result from this behavior are often very severe, and can change someone’s life forever.

Many of these accidents happen due to dangerous driving, brought about by a variety of factors:  Speeding; distracted driving – talking on a cell phone while driving or texting while driving.  People even read their email while driving.  As a I’m retained by With July Fourth weekend upon us, this is a good time to write about this.  I’ll say again:  Put that cell phone down and turn it off when you are driving.  ATT has a very useful program called “It Can Wait.”  I suggest that all my clients click on that link & visit that site.  Pay attention to the road, not to a conversation you’re having, to your GPS, or to your radio, or even to a passenger in your car.

As to teenage drivers:  They are neither exempt from the law nor immune to injuries and tragedy.  But thanks to technology, parents can now monitor a great deal of what their teens are doing when they’re out with the car:  This includes the speed they’re driving at, where they’re going, even if they’re using their cell phone while in the vehicle.  It’s a device called “HUM,” and while I don’t like to advertise commercial products on this site, I’ll provide a link here.

Bottom line for adult drivers in Massachusetts:  Obey the law. Don’t be a speed-demon; don’t drive recklessly.  NEVER drive if you’ve had more than even one drink or beer.  Ditch the phone when in your vehicle.  Set an example for your kids.  If you don’t have kids, set an example for others.

Bottom line for teenage drivers in Massachusetts:  A motor vehicle is no place to have a party with your friends.  Either obey the law when driving, or pay the price – in the courtroom or, perhaps one day soon, your parents’ living room.

Or, you could think of it this way:  By acting in a more responsible, considerate,  decent and mature person when driving, guess what may happen?  The life you save may be your own.  Worth thinking about.

Have a safe July Fourth weekend, everyone.

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