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Guest Blog Written By Patrick McDonald, CPCU, AIM, AIS
Executive Vice President – Business & Clients
MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance

At MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance, we recognize that Massachusetts teen drivers are at risk and need extra care, support and guidance before getting behind the wheel. National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 19-25, is the perfect opportunity to take an additional step toward raising awareness about the importance of teen driver safety initiatives. Established by Congress in 2007, National Teen Driver Safety Week was a direct response to a series of fatal accidents involving Pennsylvania high school students.

Unfortunately, these tragedies are in no way isolated incidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. Immaturity leads to speeding and other risky habits, and inexperience means teen drivers often don’t recognize or know how to respond to hazards. These disquieting statistics show the need for further driver education and programs designed to curb teen accidents and highway deaths.

MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance is proud to be a part of the effort to help teens become safer drivers. As a sponsor of the MassDOT Highway Assistance Patrol, MAPFRE | Commerce Insurance helps to promote highway safety and provide assistance to stranded motorists of all ages on Massachusetts highways. We have supported this MassDOT initiative for over a decade and applaud the MassDOT Highway Assistance Patrol’s continued efforts to reduce traffic delays, traffic congestion and secondary accidents. Safety is a priority for MAPFRE | Commerce and supporting this vital service fits our mission. Parents may feel more confident in their teen’s safety on the Commonwealth’s most traveled highways knowing that the MassDOT Highway Assistance Patrol sponsored by MAPFRE | Commerce is there.

In addition, MAPFRE | Commerce offers safe driving courses for new drivers as a way to encourage teens to get the most out of driving practice and learn the ins-and-outs of safe driving behavior. Specifically, our DriveAdvisorSM program, helps teens, as well as other drivers, identify driving patterns so they can improve upon them, and become better drivers. The program makes online feedback available to parents allowing them to actively participate in the education process teaching their inexperienced sons and daughters to become safer on the road and reduce their risk of having an accident. These programs all share the goal of promoting highway safety, a key objective of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Certainly, the focus on teen driver safety should not be limited to one week in October. We believe in generating ongoing conversations surrounding efforts to make our roadways safer for everyone. National Teen Driver Safety Week may be focused on teen driver education and safety, but it also serves as an important reminder for every driver to take a moment to focus on safety. We all need to look out for each other on the road.

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