Massachusetts drivers tend to have a bad reputation. It might not be quite as bad as New York drivers, but we're up there on the list. Let's just say the term Masshole didn't come out of nowhere.

In reality, Massachusetts drivers really aren't that bad, in fact, drivers in the Bay State didn't even crack the top ten states with the worst drivers. According to a study published by the law firm of Friend, Levinson, and Turner, LTD, and it finds Massachusetts is actually home to the second-best drivers in the country! Yes, seriously.

If factual evidence is not enough to show that Massachusetts drivers aren't all that bad, the number of people who wave other drivers' own should show you how "courteous" Massachusetts drivers can be, and I have to say, IT DRIVES ME NUTS.

The rules of the road are in place to keep the flow of traffic moving as safely as possible. When you stop to "wave someone on" you're just mucking up the entire system. Certainly, there are acceptions to this rule, for example, if you are stopped at a red light and can let in another car from a side street, that makes sense. You're not going anywhere anyway. But completely stopping the flow of traffic in any way to "be polite" really isn't helping anyone. In Massachusetts, it actually leaves you liable if there's an accident.

Is It Illegal to "Wave" a Car Into Traffic in Massachusetts?

If you think you're being kind by becoming a driver into the roadway with a wave of your hand, you might want to think again. While it's technically not illegal, if you waving someone into traffic causes an accident you can be held liable.

According to Matthieseu, Wickert & Leher S.C.

In Massachusetts, the signaling motorist can be held liable if it wasn’t safe to cross the road when the signal is given.

The law firm cites the 2003 case of Gennelly v. Leslie, in which the Massachusetts Supreme Court rejected the defense that “My signal only meant that it was safe to cross my lane of traffic, not that the entire highway was safe.” Whether a defendant’s signal to cross was negligent will usually be a fact question, but a wave won’t always be interpreted simply as “I won’t hit you.”

The moral of the story is just drive and follow the rules of the road. Be courteous in the grocery store, be kind at the bank, be nice in your everyday life, but when you're driving, just follow the rules of the road.


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