Despite the Commonwealth’s reputation for strong government regulation, boating in Massachusetts appears to function a little more like the Wild West. Anyone 16 or older can operate a boat without completing even a basic safety course, according to a recent article in the Boston Globe. This makes Massachusetts somewhat of an outlier in the region, as neighboring states Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont all require motorboat pilots to have a safe boating certificate.

Each year, thousands of boating accidents kill hundreds of people across the United States. In 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,040 accidents, 2,222 non-fatal injuries, and 636 deaths. Although this marks a decrease from 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 saw a surge in boat sales and a drop in boater education, meaning many untrained boaters may still be on the water. After crashes this summer caused the death of a Boy Scout from Lexington and a teenage girl on Cape Cod, boating safety is receiving renewed attention in Massachusetts.

New Proposed Boating Safety Bill

American workplaces have seen a concerning increase in on-the-job deaths, according to a news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A total of 5,190 people in the United States died from job-related injury in 2021 — the equivalent of one worker every 101 minutes. With 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers, this marked the highest annual fatal work injury rate since 2016.

This troubling trend serves as a stark reminder of the risks that many American workers face on a daily basis. From construction sites to underground mines, dangerous workplaces can lead to fatal accidents that leave families devastated and struggling to cope.

Leading Causes of Workplace Deaths

The Diocese of Syracuse has agreed to pay $100 million to compensate parishioners abused by priests, employees, and volunteers in the diocese. According to NBC News, it appears to be the largest payout by a U.S. Roman Catholic diocese since at least 2018, when the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis settled with over 400 victims for $210 million.

Catholic entities across New York faced a surge of claims when the state temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse in 2019. After being hit with more than 100 lawsuits, the Diocese of Syracuse filed for bankruptcy in 2020. The proposed settlement — which is a part of bankruptcy proceedings and still requires court approval — would resolve 411 sex abuse claims brought by 387 people.

Clergy Sex Abuse Settlements Nationwide

In yet another scandal facing the Catholic Church, Tennesee Bishop Richard Stika resigned in June after allegations that he mishandled sex abuse claims in his Knoxville diocese. Several priests also complained about his behavior and leadership, triggering a Vatican investigation. Although he denies wrongdoing, Stika is now facing at least two lawsuits claiming that he improperly dealt with sexual misconduct allegations and sought to silence the accusers.

In one lawsuit, a Honduran immigrant seeking grief counseling in 2020 said a priest locked her in a room and sexually assaulted her. Although the police and the diocese knew of the accusation, the lawsuit argues, the diocese took no action against the priest and, in fact, obstructed law enforcement. The woman also claimed that the diocese tried to intimidate her by spreading rumors about her and hiring a private investigator to find information to use against her.

In a second lawsuit, a former employee at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville accused a seminary student of harassing and raping him in 2019. The lawsuit argues that Bishop Stika pressured the accuser to remain silent, concealed the abuse, and even dismissed an investigator who was looking into the case. Before Stika’s resignation in 2023, he had been the bishop of Knoxville for 14 years.

A new regulation proposed in May by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would require new vehicles to come equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. These systems detect potential collisions and automatically apply the brakes to lessen the impact of a crash — or avoid it altogether. NHTSA estimates that the new regulation could prevent at least 360 deaths and 24,000 injuries annually.

This technology has been available on many automotive models for years, but it hasn’t yet been mandated. If the new regulation is adopted as proposed, it would require almost all US passenger vehicles and light trucks to have AEB systems three years after the publication of a final rule. In addition, NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in June that they plan to require AEB technology on heavy vehicles as well.

What Exactly is AEB Technology?

Navigating the streets of the Bay State can be treacherous for even the most seasoned of drivers. According to recent studies, Massachusetts has the fourth-worst roads in the country and Boston has the fourth-worst traffic in the world. A new Forbes Advisor report sheds more light on the issue by pinpointing the most dangerous times to drive in the state.

As it turns out, you may want to start driving more cautiously during your evening commute. According to the report, the most deadly time to drive in Massachusetts is between 5 and 6 pm. Using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data for 2016 to 2020, Forbes Advisor found that more fatal car accidents happened in the state during this hour than during any other. The same was true for Maine and New Hampshire.

This time was slightly earlier than the country as a whole. Nationwide, the report found that 6 to 7 pm is the most dangerous hour to drive. The next most deadly time is 8 to 9 pm, followed by 9 to 10 pm. Overall, the most dangerous driving hour in the majority of states falls between 3 and 10 p.m., especially after sunset.

Dangerous jobs continued to hurt and kill workers in “alarming numbers” last year, according to a report by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Specifically, the report found that 51 workers suffered job-related fatalities in 2022. Although this represented a drop from the Commonwealth’s 62 workplace deaths in 2021, the report noted that many such fatalities are preventable.

Workplace Injuries and Deaths in Massachusetts

Published in April, the report showed that 39 workers died of traumatic work injuries and 12 died of work-related disease in 2022. The true numbers may be much higher, however, because the data does not include all people who died after contracting COVID on the job. In addition, injuries and illnesses are not always reported or properly recorded.

Over 450 Catholic clergy members abused nearly 2,000 children in Illinois since 1950, according to a report released by the state attorney general last month. Before the start of the investigation, the church had publicly acknowledged only around 100 individual abusers. The report comes at a time when increasing numbers of Catholic priests across the nation are being accused of sexual abuse.

Hundreds of Priests Abused Thousands of Children

After a Pennsylvania grand jury found that over 300 Catholic clerics had abused over 1,000 children during a 70-year period, Illinois began its own state investigation into clergy sexual assaults starting in 2018. The nearly 700-page report released in May found evidence that 451 Catholic clergy members abused at least 1,997 children across Illinois between 1950 and 2019.

When defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was charged in 2021 with molesting a teenage boy in Massachusetts in 1974, he became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the country to face criminal sex abuse charges. In April of 2023, he was charged again. This time, he faces accusations in Wisconsin of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in 1977. In addition to the criminal charges against him, McCarrick has been named in numerous civil suits alleging sexual misconduct.

The new accusations come as numerous states around the country are updating their sexual assault laws. Since 2018, more than a dozen states have made changes making it easier for sexual assault victims to seek justice. Some states suspended the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse altogether, some raised the age limit to make claims, and others created temporary “lookback windows” allowing survivors to sue their abusers no matter how many years ago the abuse happened.

McCarrick Accused of Dozens of Alleged Sex Assaults

In a hit and run accident, the driver leaves the scene without stopping to assess damage or injury, call the police, or provide his or her contact information. While leaving the scene of an accident is illegal almost everywhere, it still happens all too often. In fact, over 2,500 people died in hit and run crashes in the U.S. in 2020. In Massachusetts, nearly 10% of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2022 involved hit and run drivers.

Sometimes drivers flee the scene because they are intoxicated, don’t have a license or insurance, or simply panic and keep driving. Even if the driver is never identified, victims of hit and run accidents in Massachusetts can still make a claim with their insurance company. If the driver is later identified, he or she may face criminal charges or a lawsuit in civil court.

Recent MA Hit and Run Accidents

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