According to The Boston Globe, in the last five years, there have been over 1,800 Massachusetts car crashes involving State Police vehicles-that’s nearly one collision a day. Law enforcement authorities say that hundreds of these accidents occurred because troopers were speeding, disregarding traffic signs, or breaking other safety rules.
Records indicate that approximately 100 people annually are hurt in Massachusetts State Police car crashes. In 2013 alone, there were over 400 collisions, including 306 Boston auto collisions.
Also, in the last ten years the department has paid over $3 million in collision settlements. The amount could have been more if there wasn’t a $100,000 statutory limit on negligence claims brought against government agencies in the state. At least four of the Massachusetts police traffic crashes involved fatalities.
While law enforcement officials attribute some of the accidents to the many miles officers drive when patrolling, police appear to be involved in about double as many collisions per mile as other motorists.
Common causes of police car crashes:
• High speed pursuits • Driving in poor weather conditions • Distracted driving, including laptops, other technology devices, and listening to radio chatter • Speeding, even if unrelated to their work
Unfortunately, there are police officers that think the laws don’t apply to them, which can lead to serious injuries and deaths. Even while in the pursuit of justice, Massachusetts and local troopers have a duty to drive safely so that no one-including a suspect or an innocent bystander-is hurt.
Police car crashes are a problem in other states as well. Just recently, in Southern California, five people were sent to the hospital following a traffic crash between a San Diego police car, another vehicle, and eight bicyclists. At the time, the police officer was heading to a domestic violence call. The couple in the vehicle said they had the green light.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Boston car accident involving a state police car or some other vehicle and you believe the other driver may have been at fault, you should speak with a Boston injury lawyer immediately.
Troopers, public at risk from State Police cruiser crashes, The Boston Globe, October 5, 2014
Request a Police Crash Report, Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
Police Car Crashes into Group of Tourists, NBC San Diego, September 29, 2014
More Blog Posts:
Families of Two Victims Involving GM Ignition Defect Accept Compensation Fund’s Wrongful Death Settlement Offers, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 6, 2014
Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Sue Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2014
Cape Cod MA Crane Accident Deaths Were Preventable, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, September 26, 2014