Massachusetts Fatal Accident Study:

Massachusetts’ Deadliest Roads and Fatal Accident Statistics

Between 2018 and 2020, 986 deadly crashes occurred in Massachusetts. MoneyGeek analyzed these accidents to identify the deadliest stretches of road in the state and explore how different factors contributed to these fatal incidents.

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
Last Updated: 7/25/2022
1 Expert Contribution
Written By     |  

MoneyGeek analyzed data for the 986 fatal accidents recorded in Massachusetts from 2018 to 2020 to find the deadliest roads in the state. Out of Massachusetts’ 77,730 miles of road, our analysis included 733 roads.

MoneyGeek also examined how some hazardous driving behaviors — such as drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving — contributed to these fatal crashes. Additionally, our study looked at how months and seasonal changes played a role in deadly accidents.

We broke down crash fatalities by county, including finding the deadliest road in each of Massachusetts’ counties.

Key Findings

  • I-95 N from S. Main St. to Exit 21 is Massachusetts' deadliest stretch of road. Between 2018–2020, five fatal accidents occurred here.
  • Over half of fatal accidents in the state involved drunk driving or speeding. Drunk driving contributed to 30.1% of crashes, while 26.2% involved speeding.
  • Distracted driving was a factor in 9.3% of deadly crashes. MoneyGeek's distracted driving study ranked it better than 73% of states for distracted driving fatalities, making Massachusetts one of the states with the lowest rates in the country.
  • June had the most fatal accidents of any month from 2018 to 2020. One-hundred (10.1%) of Massachusetts' deadly crashes occurred during this month. July (97) and November (95) recorded the next highest numbers of crashes, respectively.
  • Worcester had the highest number of deadly crashes of any county. The majority of these accidents happened on I-290.

10 Deadliest Road Stretches in Massachusetts


  • DEADLIEST ROAD IN MASSACHUSETTS
    I-95 N from S. Main St. to Exit 21
    Norwood | Walpole | Sharon
    I-95 N from S. Main St. to Exit 21
    • Fatal Accidents:5
    • fatalities:6
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.2
    • distance:4.3 miles
  • Main St. from Perkins Ave. to Stonehouse Hill Rd.
    Brockton | Easton
    Main St. from Perkins Ave. to Stonehouse Hill Rd.
    • Fatal Accidents:5
    • fatalities:5
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.5
    • distance:3.2 miles
  • I-93 N from Exit 39 to Exit 42
    Andover
    I-93 N from Exit 39 to Exit 42
    • Fatal Accidents:4
    • fatalities:4
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.2
    • distance:3.3 miles
  • I-495 N from Exit 14 to Exit 15
    Middleboro
    I-495 N from Exit 14 to Exit 15
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:7.2
    • distance:0.4 miles
  • I-93 N from Exit 11B to Exit 13B
    Boston
    I-93 N from Exit 11B to Exit 13B
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.9
    • distance:1.6 miles
  • I-93 N from Exit 28A to Exit 31
    Wilmington | Stoneham
    I-93 N from Exit 28A to Exit 31
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.1
    • distance:2.6 miles
  • I-195 E from Exit 1 to Exit 5
    Town Of Rehoboth | Swansea
    I-195 E from Exit 1 to Exit 5
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:0.6
    • distance:4.9 miles
  • I-495 S from Stow Rd. to Exit 70
    Bolton | Harvard Station | Harvard
    I-495 S from Stow Rd. to Exit 70
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.0
    • distance:2.9
  • I-95 N from Exit 7 to 12A
    North Attleboro | Mansfield | Attleboro
    I-95 N from Exit 7 to 12A
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.1
    • distance:2.7
  • I-95 S from Exit 1 from Exit 2B
    Attleboro
    I-95 S from Exit 1 from Exit 2B
    • Fatal Accidents:3
    • fatalities:3
    • Crashes Per Mile:3.5
    • distance:0.8 miles

Drunk Driving Involved in 30% of Fatal Accidents

In 2020 alone, 11,654 fatalities in the U.S. were caused by drunk driving. Our study looked at Massachusetts' numbers between 2018 and 2020 and found that drunk driving contributed to 297 fatal accidents. That's 30.1% of 986 crashes resulting in death. It outnumbered all other factors, including winter conditions, distracted driving and speeding.

Driving after a couple of drinks is never a good idea. Although you're only legally drunk when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08%, a lower BAC still affects your driving skills. About two alcoholic drinks (0.02%) will make multitasking a challenge. Yet this is crucial when driving.

Not all collisions lead to fatalities, but drunk driving has long-term consequences. You may lose your driving privileges, have your license suspended or even face some jail time. Finding affordable auto insurance in Massachusetts becomes challenging with a DUI on your record.

Speeding Is a Factor in 26% of Fatal Crashes

Speeding-related deaths across the country spiked from 9,592 in 2019 to 11,258 in 2020. In Massachusetts, speeding was involved in 258 deadly crashes from 2018 to 2020. That's 26.2% of all fatal accidents in the state.

Keeping within the speed limits is crucial when you're behind the wheel. If you exceed posted limits, it's easier to lose control of your car. Speeding also increases the impact of a collision, so you're likely to sustain more severe injuries if you get into an accident.

Distracted Driving Contributed to 9% of Fatal Accidents

From 2018–2020, there were 92 deadly crashes associated with distracted driving in Massachusetts, accounting for 9.3% of all fatal accidents.

MoneyGeek's distracted driving study places Massachusetts as the 37th-worst state for distracted driving. It ranks better than 73% of other states.

Massachusetts' Hands-Free Law took effect in February 2020. This law prohibits drivers from using any electronic device while driving, not just mobile phones. Violating this law may cost you as much as $500 in fines.

June Had More Fatal Accidents Than Any Other Month

Besides driving behaviors, MoneyGeek's analysis also explored when most fatal accidents occurred during the year. Our study showed that June had the highest fatal crashes from 2018 to 2020.

With 100 of the 986 recorded incidents in the three years examined, that's 10.1% of all total fatal crashes in the state.

The months with the following highest number of deadly accidents are July and November — each having 97 and 95 crashes, respectively.

Average Fatal Accidents by Month
Month
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Winter Conditions
Speeding Related
% of Total

January

74

22

7

4

15

7.5%

February

67

26

5

2

19

6.8%

March

69

18

8

3

15

7.0%

April

87

33

6

1

25

8.8%

May

67

19

6

0

17

6.8%

June

100

39

10

0

30

10.1%

July

97

27

6

0

36

9.8%

August

86

23

9

0

19

8.7%

September

88

23

9

0

23

8.9%

October

77

20

7

0

16

7.8%

November

95

24

7

0

25

9.6%

December

79

23

12

7

18

8.0%

Driving Safely Protects You, Others and Your Wallet

Safe driving in Massachusetts doesn't only protect you and your loved ones; it also protects your finances. A collision — fatal or not — can be costly, which is why having auto insurance coverage is essential. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are on the road, you can't avoid an accident. A full coverage auto insurance policy is an excellent investment because it safeguards your passengers and assets in the event of a crash.

The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is $1,112 per year. That’ is the same amount drivers pay for auto insurance in Boston — the state’s most populous city. Remember that this sample premium is the state average, and your rate may vary based on where you live. For instance, you will pay $162 more for car insurance in Springfield, where the annual average premium is $1,274.

Besides your location, other factors affect your car insurance rates. These may include your driving history, experience and age. One of the best ways to find the most affordable car insurance company for you is by comparing several lender quotes.

Fatal Accidents and Most Dangerous Roads: County Breakdown

The top five counties in Massachusetts with the highest number of deadly accidents contributed to roughly 62% of the recorded fatal incidents from 2018 to 2020. That's 615 fatal crashes within the three years analyzed.

At 140, Worcester County had the highest number of deadly accidents. The two most common factors involved in these accidents were drunk driving and speeding, and the majority of these crashes happened along I-290.

Fatal Accidents and Contributing Factors By County
County
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Speeding- Related
Most Deadly Road (Fatal Accidents)

Worcester

140

47

12

38

I-290 (4)

Middlesex

134

34

11

30

Main St (4)

Bristol

122

32

14

31

I-195 E (8)

Hampden

116

39

6

36

Main St (4)

Norfolk

103

31

16

27

I-95 (5)

Essex

101

32

11

31

I-93 N (5)

Plymouth

87

29

7

22

I-495 N (5)

Suffolk

60

16

3

16

I-93 N (3)

Berkshire

44

10

3

9

SR-8A Church St (2)

Barnstable

33

14

1

8

SR-28 Falmouth Rd (4)

Hampshire

22

8

5

7

SR-116 (2)

Franklin

18

2

2

1

Northfield Rd (2)

Dukes

3

2

1

2

Beach Rd (1)

Nantucket

3

1

0

0

Tom Nevers Rd (1)

Methodology

To obtain our findings, MoneyGeek analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) database. We used fatality data from 2018, 2019 and 2020; currently, 2020 is the latest data available in the system.

About the Author


expert-profile

Doug Milnes is the head of marketing and communications at MoneyGeek. He has spent more than a decade in corporate finance performing valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies including OpenTable. He holds a master’s degree in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University and is a CFA charter holder. Doug geeks out on building financial and predictive models and using data to make informed decisions.


sources