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Auto Accidents

Driving on Snow and Ice

When it comes to driving on snowy and/or icy conditions, I think the best piece of advice out there is to stay put. Best case scenario, you have a couple of treacherous winters under your belt and decide against staying indoors; you will not be the only one on the road trying to overcome the elements. There will most certainly be first time winter drivers out there looking for some slippery fun, or perhaps the idea of staying indoors all day is far too unbearable as it is for me. Regardless of why other people are out there, the point is that there will be. So, if staying indoors is an option I would say it would be the wisest one.

Perhaps another piece of advice that could come in handy when dealing with snow and ice is that having four-wheel/all -wheel drive does not exempt anyone from taking precautionary measures such as diminishing your velocity and keeping your distance. The purpose of all wheel drive is to provide all your tires with enough torque to be able to move through snowy terrain. It will not give you the extra traction needed to come to a stop.

When driving on icy or snowy streets don’t make any abrupt changes to your speed or direction. Chances are that your car will not react favorably and will not be able to maintain traction sending you into a skid from which the best case scenario will be an increase in heart rate. If for some reason your car does loose traction and you are skidding, do not over steer or slam on the brakes. Slowly remove your foot of the brake or gas pedal and hold the steering wheel in the direction you initially desired to go. This should help you regain control.

In conclusion, winter rules to live by;

  1. Don’t drive unless you need to
  2. Drive at a speed that makes sense for the conditions you are facing
  3. Keep your distance
  4. Do not panic if you enter into a skid.

If you or a loved one were injured in a winter car crash, don’t hesitate to call the auto accident lawyers at Mazow | McCullough for a consultation at (855) 693-9084.

(855) 693-9084
(855) 693-9084
(855) 693-9084

Preparing Your Car for Winter

I will start this blog of by admitting that I was part of the 1% of people that were disappointed by the lack of snow this past holiday season.  Now, this does NOT mean that I wanted a snow storm or anything to that effect; as a matter of fact I didn’t even want 3 inches.

All I wanted was a little coating of magically shaped frozen water, a little something for my inner child to rejoice in. Sadly, that was not the case.  Instead of a white holiday season we had a very green holiday season, but what’s that saying?  “If you don’t like the weather in New England wait five minutes.”

Christmas Eve: 69 degrees.

Couple Days Later: 8 degrees.

All hail New England weather!

If the above is not enough indication that there is no predicting the weather for the east coast, let’s simmer on that fact that we are coming back from a winter with record-breaking snowfall. I would say it may be wise to prepare for a harsher winter and part of that involves the dreaded winter driving conditions.

Getting Your Car Winter Ready

  • Make sure you fill your windshield washer reservoir and buy extra to keep on hand in your vehicle.
  •   Check your windshield wipers and defrosters to make sure they work.

(Flashback to last winter: Nothing better than scraping ice off of your windshield because your heater is not working and the defroster is blowing cold air.)

  •  Do NOT pour hot water on your windshield unless you are going for the spider glass effect.
  •  Inspect your tires and make sure they have enough tread. If you have winter tires and are waiting for some snow to fall to swap out your all season or summer tires, you might want to take into consideration that winter tires are not only meant to perform well in snowy/ icy terrain but also to perform better in cold weather.  You wouldn’t want your summer tires cracking due to the brittle conditions.
  •  If you use winter floor mats, make sure to remove your current ones in order to prevent potential pedal interference.

Unfortunately, even taking extra precautions isn’t always enough, if you or a loved one find yourself injured in a car accident, contact the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough for a consultation. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Cellphone Usage While Driving

I have taken pride in the past in considering myself to be a very mellow driver. I’m not a road rage advocate, I don’t like to use my horn, unless it is a light tap to let someone kindly know that the light in front of them which Cellphone Usage While Drivingthey were supposed to be watching oh so vigilantly has changed to another color.

You can probably tell by the passive aggressiveness in that last sentence my standing on the matter has changed. The number one culprit, cellphone usage while driving! In the era of smart phones, iWatches, Google glasses and the need to feel constantly connected to the world at all times, it should come as no surprise that using such devices while driving has become a colossal issue. Now, I will not exclude myself from the masses. I will admit that I too am guilty at times of texting or trying to use a device while driving. However, after experiencing how irritating it is to drive behind someone who for three miles who is constantly texting and going below the speed limit. (Let the records show that the speed limit was 25 mph.) I have limited my device usage to red lights, stops or just a simple “Hey Siri, what does my new text message say?” As I feel the rest of the community should do at a minimum.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that cellphone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year and nearly 330,000 injuries. In Massachusetts, the law for cellphones and texting while driving prohibits school bus drivers and novice drivers (drivers 18 or younger) from using the device to either text or talk. All other drivers are only prohibited from texting while driving. Now that is not to say that talking is not as distracting as texting, studies actually show it may be equally as distracting or if not more, something about the human brain not being designed to multi-task. So when you get in a car whether you are the driver or passenger either make a wise choice to not text/ talk and drive at the same time or if you’re a passenger speak up about the unwise decision your friend is making. I mean after all you are in danger as well if something where to happen, so don’t be shy. Driving is a privilege not a right.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Moped Hit and Run in Lynn

Over the Memorial Day weekend, a man riding a moped was seriously injured when he was the victim of a hit and run in Lynn, Massachusetts. Police are still searching for the car and the driver responsible.

Details Surrounding the Crash

On Monday, May 25 at around 9:30 PM police responded to a hit and run crash involving a man in a moped. The crash occurred on Union Street in Lynn.  Witness’s state that the car involved in the crash was driving very fast and took off immediately after the crash occurred.   The man driving the moped suffered severe burn injuries due to the gas from the moped catching on fire. Witnesses from the stores surrounding the area ran to extinguish the fire with fire extinguishers. The victim was taken by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital.  At this time there are no updates as to how the victim is doing.

Increasing your Safety on the Road

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) the majority of accidents occur for the following reasons:

  • Collision at an intersection
  • Rider inexperience
  • Excessive Speed
  • Alcohol

In order to reduce the chances of being involved in a crash, one must be vigilant at intersections while at the same time making sure you increase your visibility to everyone on the road, especially at night.

Remember to ride within your ability. If you are new to riding, avoid riding at times when heavy traffic is expected or when conditions are not safe due to weather or visibility.

Bear in mind to keep your speed in check. The faster you are traveling the less reaction time you have which, in return, also limits the reaction time of other drivers to you.

And last but certainly not least, do not drink and ride. There is little room for error when on two wheels. When riding, a “fender bender” is not the likely outcome of any crash. Now that summer weather seems to have finally arrived and everyone is out an about, it is even more important to take extra steps to remain safe on the road.

If you have been injured as a result of a moped, motor scooter or motorcycle crash, Contact us today for a consultation and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

motorcycleIt’s Spring Time!

Longer days, warmer weather, bugs coming out to do whatever it is that bugs do, cabin fever in full effect , and, oh yeah, motorcyclists on the road. You’ve been cooped up all winter; casually strolling by your bike and waiting for this glorious time of year to approach, only to endure a disappointing first few weeks of spring [insert wrong answer game show sound effect here]. Well I am here to tell you that I have confidence that in the next two weeks, Mother Nature will give us spring back. So get ready to ride! But first, let’s take a look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involving drivers on the road, and how to prevent them.

Car Turning Left in Front of You

These types of accidents account for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car. Most of the time a car fails to see you or judges your speed incorrectly, usually the turning car strikes the motorcycle when the motorcyclist is either passing a car or going straight through the intersection. Of course, there are several other reasons for this sort of collision happening, one of them being as simple as your mind playing tricks on you. Maybe some of you have gone to the fridge and opened it up and put your phone in the fridge instead of the milk [guilty]. If a driver is looking for cars he/she may simply only notice the absence of cars and not the presence of a motorcycle. Your best defense against this happening is that you just need to see it coming. Part of your job as a motorcyclist is to develop a sixth sense; you need to see danger where you usually wouldn’t if you were driving a car. You need to take something as simple as a car waiting to change lanes or a car waiting to exit a parking lot as an immediate threat to your life. The faster you learn to ride defensively the better off you will be.

A Car Changes Lanes into You

You’re riding in traffic, scratch that you are riding period. When a car in the lane next to you decides that, right at that moment, it would be a good time for him/her to switch lanes. There’s only one way to help you avoid a collision in this situation and that is, to keep in mind that motorcycles are much smaller than cars, making it that much easier for you to be in someone’s blind spot. You need to be aware of how different cars have different blind spots. A car’s blind spot size will be considerably different than that of truck. Know the blind spots and spend as little time in them as possible. Be extra cautious when you see situations that are going to favor lane changing. Chances are if you would change lanes; know that someone else is having the same thought. People are going to want to be in the lane that is moving at a faster speed. When riding, look for signs that a car is about to change lanes. A blinker, a car speeding up or slowing down, and my favorite tell-tale sign, a driver looking over his or her shoulder. Be aware of this at all times, and your chances of not getting into an accident will be strongly diminished.

A Car Hits You from Behind

You come to a stop, a yield, the car in front of you hits his/her breaks unexpectedly warranting for you to hit your breaks and come to speedy stop.  Brace for impact! This type of accident in a car would usually result in a “fender bender” meanwhile on a motorcycle, a “fender bender” can have drastically worse consequences. How can you avoid this? Instead of stopping in the center of the lane, try coming to a safe stop on the side of the lane if possible. When coming to a stop, pay attention to what’s coming up behind you. Use your side mirrors to observe the cars behind you, and determine if they are coming up too fast and could possibly collide with you. Always keep your bike in first gear and right hand on the accelerator in order to be ready to take action in a moment’s notice. Be particularly vigilant in situations where there’s bad visibility, bad weather, poor lighting etc.

When ridden safely, motorcycles are a great option to get around; they are fun, fast and fuel-efficient, and did I mention fun? As stated above, the key to making sure your experience remains enjoyable is to respect the road and remain vigilant. Being vigilant and wearing the right equipment will go a long way in helping prevent bumps and bruises or worse consequences that come along with accidents. Enjoy motorcycle riding responsibly, while you feel the pavement underneath glide on by.

In the unfortunate event that you, or a loved one, are involved in a motorcycle accident don’t hesitate to contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Mazow McCullough.

Snow Storm Safety Tips: Driving

driving along a snowy road

It’s best to avoid driving in snowy weather if at all possible.

You can’t seem to turn on the news these past two weeks in New England without hearing about the next snow storm or blizzard that will be progressing through the area. In Boston, there has been about 72 inches (6 feet) of snow within the last 18 days. Mother Nature has managed to help us beat the record for the snowiest 30-day period, which was previously occupied by a record of 58.8 inches in a stretch that included the infamous Blizzard of 1978. Even more notable is that fact that we still have 12 days to try and bump that number up.

As the snow piles continue to grow, the safety concerns grow with it. Everybody is dealing with a sequence of inconvenient snow storms, which add on day to day tasks: shoveling every day, getting up earlier than usual to try and get to work on time, scurrying to try and get a parking spot that isn’t being saved by someone’s patio chair, cooking pot, or fan. We must remember that it can get pretty bad out there as everyone tries to continue with their daily lives, which likely includes spending some time behind the wheel. With the snowfall accumulation forecasted to continue throughout the week, some safety measures should be taken while driving in order to try and survive this record-breaking snowfall that we seem to have been gifted with.

Snow Storm Safety Tips

  • Drive slowly and be aware of children playing in the street and/or around snow piles.
  • Clear exterior exhausts vents and vehicle exhausts to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Avoid driving at night if possible.
  • If you are out at night and walking, try wearing bright colors or reflective gear.
  • Stay inside during storms unless absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid shortcuts; shortcut paths may be dangerous as it is less likely that snow has been removed.
  • Do not use cruise control when you are driving on a slushy or slippery road.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires provide less traction, which is already an issue with snow and ice covered roads.
  • Remain calm in a skid.  Do not over steer or slam on your breaks. This will make it harder to regain control of the vehicle.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding.
  • Increase your following distance. This will give you plenty of time to respond hazards on the road and changing conditions.
  • Clean all the snow off of your car. Make sure to clear the rear windows, mirrors, and roof as well as the windshield.
  • Clean off your headlights and taillights so that you can see and be seen.
  • Do not pass snow plows.
  • Remember bridges, ramps and overpasses are likely to freeze with temperatures dropping.

Whether you’re enjoying the current snowfall apocalypse that has invaded New England, which I don’t presume to be many of you, or wish you could pack it back up and send it elsewhere – or better yet, pack your own bags and go elsewhere – the sorrowful fact is that we have to deal with it. We have been glued to our TVs watching the weather forecast for the next snow storm or blizzard and as they have become more and more frequent, we dismiss the importance and urgency in becoming prepared.  Here in New England, many of us have a “we can handle anything” outlook on things, or still have a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. The Boston Globe compared the snowfall totals to the heights of some of Boston’s favorite athletes. Rob Gronkowski is still peeping over the snow but others weren’t so lucky. Let’s not mistake the “we can handle anything” attitude for a “we have seen it all” attitude. Stay alert and stay warm.

Massachusetts Motorcyclist Laws

motorcycle in sunlightAs a new motorcyclist myself, and with spring looking further and further every day here in New England, I know fellow motorcyclists are getting eager for the start of the new “riding season.” In all of the anticipation for spring and the hope for a miracle of a short winter, don’t forget to take some time to review and become familiar with the Massachusetts motorcyclist laws. It can help make this year’s riding experience safer and as a result more enjoyable.

Helmet Law

In the State of Massachusetts, every motorcyclist must wear a DOT (Department of Transportation) certified helmet. This law applies to riders of every age and operators of low-powered cycles such as mopeds and scooters as well. Despite the law, and the hundreds of tests and studies that prove that a helmet can strongly diminish deaths and serious injuries, too many motorcyclists still choose to ride unprotected. Some argue that wearing a helmet impairs vision and hearing while riding. Even though I can see how this concern materialized, it has been proven that it is simply not the case. Helmets provide a field of vision of more than 210 degrees which is substantially above the 140 degrees standard that is used by licensing agencies to identify vision problems. When it comes to helmets impacting hearing, it is simply not true. On the contrary, a helmet allows the rider to be able to hear his/her surroundings in a more equally proportioned way. The overwhelming fact is that helmets save lives, so use your head and wear a helmet.

Lane Splitting

If you’re a motorcyclist, you know the temptation is there. You’re sitting in a line of traffic, bumper to bumper, on a hot summer day (with some protective gear I hope) and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I could just sneak on by in between the lanes of cars; no harm, no foul.’ Truth is, there may very well be harm and it is a foul.  The foul being that in the state of Massachusetts it is illegal for a motorcyclist to participate in lane splitting. The fact is that lane splitting is illegal pretty much EVERYWHERE except in California. The number one reason being the level of risk of getting injured is very high. Motorcyclists are already in potential danger due to the lack of visibility on the road. When you add the lack of visibility and the notorious driving of Massachusetts drivers you should very well be thankful for this law.

Besides these established laws in Massachusetts, there are several other ways to help you remain safe on the road while riding. Take a quick moment to look over the Motorcycle Manual which is available online at This will help you refresh your memory on the rules of the road, and will remind you of important things to look out for in order to remain safe. Whatever steps you take to remain safe while riding, enjoy yourself. Fingers crossed for an early end to what seems to be a cruel joke by Mother Nature on New England.

Avid Motorcyclists Continue To Ride Despite Cold Temperatures

motorcycles in cold weatherEven though we are turning the heat up in our cars and scraping the frost off of our windows, there are many avid motorcycle riders in Massachusetts who continue to ride despite the dip in temperatures.  Whether motorcyclists continue to ride in the cold is because of necessity or desire, the fact is that motorcycles continue to share the road with all of us.

With the drop in temperatures come icy roads, darker mornings and evenings, and frost or snow covered car windows.  Car and motorcycle riders must take extra caution to make sure that they are aware of each other on the roads of Massachusetts.  Mazow & McCullough have seen too many horrific injuries and deaths as a result of careless drivers shifting lanes too fast and crashing into riders, driving without properly clearing their windows, or simply not paying attention to their driving.

Take another few minutes in the morning to defrost your windows.  Scrape your front and back windshields from frost.  Drive a little slower if the roads are icy.

Remember that motorcycles are everywhere.  Even in the winter.

Worcester: Worst Drivers in America?

Worcester MA has worst drivers in America according to AllState report

Worcester City Hall

According to a new study by AllState Insurance Company, Boston was ranked as having the second worst drivers in America. The study further alleges that on average, Boston drivers have a motor vehicle accident roughly every 4.4 years. Unfortunately, the study also says that the number one riskiest drivers in the entire country are also in a Massachusetts city: Worcester.

The study, dubbed The Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, received its information from property damage collision claims by and against its policy holders and analyzed the 200 largest cities in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual estimates of the population. That information was used to rank the best and worst drivers in America.

The report, although not used to determine auto insurance rates, is made “solely to boost the country’s discussion about safe driving and to increase awareness of the importance of being safe and attentive behind the wheel”. If so, it looks like Massachusetts is up for a long overdue discussion about keeping safe.

The cities ranked the safest included Fort Collins, CO and Brownsville, TX with an average 14.2 years between collisions. With cities having populations as dense as New York City and Los Angeles, it’s a wonder how they almost doubled in the amount of years between their accidents at 7.8 and 6.5 years respectively.

What gives, Massachusetts?

Photo credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

What Happens to Your Body in a Car Accident

see a doctor after a car accidentEven the simplest car rear-end car accident can leave the human body seriously injured. Few people know what actually happens to them when they are involved in minor rear-end collisions. Rarely do people seek medical treatment when involved in fender benders. But, doctors recommend that you do anyway for the following reasons.

Possible Car Accident Injuries

First, the fact that your vehicle has suddenly stopped does not mean that our body will as well. Whether you are hit from behind, the front or sides, your body, including your head, continues to move at the speed you were driving until it hits something or is stopped by your seatbelt- if you have one on. Your brain crashes against the inside of your skull on impact and then rebounds and smacks into the other side, having nowhere else to go. At the very minimum, a human being will have a headache or a concussion. At worst, the human brain begins to swell, which leads to more serious complications and could cause death.

Now let’s talk about the neck. The weight of your head on top of your neck jolting back and forth at such an unnatural speed for it can cause whiplash if it’s a minor impact. At much higher speeds, however, the motion could break the neck.

The human spine goes through a similar reaction, whipping back and forth and ultimately causing whiplash. This could lead to bulging discs and radiating pain to all limbs, joints and shoulders. The higher the speed, the more serious the injury to the driver and passengers. However small or big the accident, it’s repercussions are almost always the same; they impact people’s lives tremendously.

What to do if you’ve been injured

If you have suffered a personal injury or a loved one has been killed as a result of a car accident or hurt because of someone else’s negligence, please contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today so that the matter can be properly, efficiently and successfully handled. We can help you to feel empowered again as you seek justice for you or your loved one’s injuries and/or wrongful death. The right lawyer makes all the difference. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or

At Mazow McCullough, we recognize every single car accident, at every single speed. Whether you were in a high speed accident or a fender bender, if you were hurt because of the negligence of another, your injuries deserve a voice.

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