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Texting and Driving 2019As we begin the New Year, it’s important to always strive to turn our resolutions into a reality. Start off 2019 right; resolve to practice safe driving techniques by curbing distracted driving and adhering to safe driving tips.

You can help prevent common, but deadly, crashes just by setting down your phone and keeping your eyes on the road. MassDOT, with the help of MAPFRE Insurance, want to remind motorists that each new year brings a clean slate. Become part of the safety initiative to end distracted driving and keep our roads safe in 2019. Remember, one text or call could wreck it all.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), advises that, “When you’re texting while driving, you’re not really driving.” Not only do you put everyone in your vehicle at risk, but also your fellow motorists. Distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016 alone, says NHTSA. While texting is not the only distraction a driver can have, it is the most alarming. At 55 miles per hour, taking your eyes off the road and looking at your cell phone for only five seconds is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Even tendencies like eating and drinking while driving can distract a driver. The road can be unforgiving, and unless the task of driving has your full attention, your risk of crashing only increases.

There are simple precautions a driver can take, before even turning on the car, that can help curb distracted driving. First, turn off your cell phone. Your phone is your biggest temptation while driving, so make sure you aren’t tempted by turning it off and storing it away. Keeping it in a bag in the back seat is a great way to ensure everyone’s safety. Second, come prepared. Make sure to eat before heading out on the road, as well as complete any personal preparation you have such as applying makeup or fixing your hair. When you are focused on your mirror, the chances of a crash rises.

Even the safest of drivers can find themselves stranded, which is why the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance is here to help with fixing minor mechanical problems, flat tires, fuel shortages, and emergency situations. The patrols are on the roadway to aid distressed motorists, especially during persistent winter conditions. The Highway Assistance Program drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield & Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roadways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The Highway Assistance Patrol is in service Monday–Friday between the hours of 6 a.m.–10 a.m. and 3 p.m.–7 p.m. During holidays, there are extended routes in heavy traffic areas. On I-90, and in Boston’s tunnel system, assistance is provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. MAPFRE Insurance wishes everyone a happy and safe 2019! #JustDrive

Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, CEO, Northeast Region, MAPFRE Insurance

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