Deadly accidents have spiked in 2016

Massachusetts has the highest number of deadly crashes in New England

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a shocking number, nearly 18,000 people have died on highways across the nation just in the first six months of 2016; that’s a more than 10% increase, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, coming after years of decline in deadly accidents.

Massachusetts has had its fair share of deadly accidents in 2014; there were 354, more than any other New England state. Some of the blame is being placed on GPS devices. While most of the devices do talk to drivers, a lot of drivers find themselves looking down to see where they’re going.

“I am always unhappy when I see someone, I don’t see them texting as much, but when you see the cellphone up to the ear, it’s just as bad,” said Larry Starr of Longmeadow.

One diver visiting Massachusetts told 22News that he believes too many people are in too much of a rush. “We had a guy behind us, we had a bus on the right that was letting people on and a guy making a left in front us, so I had nowhere to go and the guy behind me laid on his horn, offensive hand gestures, saying what are you doing,” said Jay Schultz, who is visiting West Springfield.

Experts from the National Safety Council say that even when drivers are not looking down, they can still be distracted by talking on the phone hands-free. They say there needs to be more focus on the task of driving.