Recently, AAA has noticed a troubling statistic: Deaths from wrong-way crashes have been increasing in the Commonwealth. Recently, a wrong-way crash resulted in the death of a Holyoke woman, while three people were tragically killed in another crash over the weekend in Sturbridge.

From a report by WWLP/22 News Springfield, alcohol impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger have increased the risk of wrong-way crashes. In Western Massachusetts, Springfield is #2 in the state with 315 wrong-way crashes between 2010 and 2020. Worcester comes in at #1.

AAA reports that, in Massachusetts, the rate of deadly wrong-way crashes on divided highways has increased by more than double the national rate between 2015 and 2018, averaging 500 deaths a year.

Vice President of AAA Northeast Pioneer Valley, Sandra Marsian, offered some advice:

There are also additional factors such as not paying attention to where you are going because you are distracted by something that's going on in the vehicle or it could be you touching your phone.

Some of these may seem like common sense, but allow us to offer up some safe driving tips:

1. Buckle Up - Some drivers and passengers don’t take the risk seriously and still don’t wear seatbelts. Seatbelt use saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017.

2. Put Down the Cell Phone - Wait until you’re pulled over to a safe location before responding to texts.

3. Watch Your Speed - Speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.

4. Take Breaks - Whenever you feel tired, it's better to stop and take a break. Pull over to a safe location or have a plan to switch drivers.

5. Do Not Drive Under The Influence - When you are not fully aware and functioning, you’re not as likely to make good judgements while on the road.

For more info, please check out the full story at WWLP's website here.

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