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Posted by: Patrick McDonald, CPCU, AIM, AIS, Executive Vice President – Business & Clients, MAPFRE Insurance

Highway Assistance Van MAPFREMAPFRE Insurance sponsors the MassDOT Highway Assistance Patrol (HAP) program and reminds motorists that during Labor Day weekend many Massachusetts drivers will be taking their last vacations of the summer, causing high traffic volumes on heavily traveled roadways, such as the Pike, I-93, I-95 and I-91. MAPFRE Insurance advises drivers to plan accordingly and offers the following advice:

Check Your Vehicle

When preparing for your Labor Day weekend travels, make sure that your car is properly maintained—check your tire pressure; oil, coolant, and washer fluid levels; and your headlights and taillights – to ensure a safe and incident-free ride.

Equip Your Vehicle

Make sure that you have water and snacks if you get stuck in traffic, as well as a first-aid kit in case of emergency. Flat tires are one of the most common incidents, so we recommend keeping tools handy to change a flat tire—jack, lug wrench, and spare tire (filled with air!). Pack a flashlight in the event of a nighttime emergency. And make sure to have a cell phone charger in the car so you don’t run out of battery power!

Know the Traffic Patterns

Anticipate traffic, so plan to leave early or later to avoid traffic jams, if driving on heavily traveled highways:

  • I-90: Labor Day traffic on I-90 westbound is heaviest on Thursday and Friday, and eastbound is heaviest on Monday afternoon and evening.
  • I-93 and I-495: Cape Cod-bound traffic is heaviest early Friday afternoon. If possible, plan an alternate route to drive around traffic.

Follow Signage and Use Travel Resources

Once you hit the highway, be on the lookout for MassDOT’s #GoTime real-time traffic signs that provide estimated travel times to specific highways and junctions. You can also check out MassDOT’s Traffic Information Map, which includes traffic cameras so you can plan ahead, or call 5-1-1 from the road for real-time traffic updates.

Motorist Assistance

If you do experience a breakdown, flat tire, or an accident, go to the breakdown lane to the right of the solid white line. Remain in the vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Dial 9-1-1 for assistance. During certain hours, the State Police can dispatch a MAPFRE Insurance-sponsored MassDOT Highway Assistance Patrol (HAP) vehicle to assist you.

HAP covers major highways in Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Cape Cod (seasonal) during peak coverage hours, Monday – Friday, 6:00 am – 10:00 am and 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

In addition to the HAP vehicles, MassDOT operates an Incident Response Vehicle (IRV) fleet of flatbed tow trucks, also sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance. The IRV patrols I-93, the Maurice Tobin J. Memorial Bridge, Ted Williams Tunnel, Sumner Tunnel and Callahan Tunnel 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Remember that the MAPFRE Insurance-sponsored HAP and IRV patrols are ready to help if something goes wrong!

Highway safety is a priority for MAPFRE Insurance. If you prepare well in advance and stay alert, sober, and buckled-in while driving, you should arrive safe and sound at your destination. Follow these safety tips so that you can enjoy your holiday weekend, worry-free!

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