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traffic-speeding-graphic-2018For Massachusetts residents, the daily commute to and from work consumes a significant amount of time and can be fraught with risk. In an effort to promote safe driving education and awareness for employees and their families, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) officially recognizes October 1 to 5 as national Drive Safely Work Week™ (DSWW), with this year’s theme being Back to Basics – Your Keys to Safe Driving.

A March, 2018 Boston Globe article stated that “Boston’s commutes ranked among the nation’s most stressful,” and another mentioned that one study “found the average Boston-area driver spending 60 hours stuck in traffic in 2017 — two more hours than in 2016.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours in traffic delays in 2014, cutting into time at work or with family and increasing fuel costs. Because employees spend so much time behind the wheel, it is important to remember safe driving practices in an effort to avoid crashes.

Speeding is another focus. According to NHTSA, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below.

MassDOT, along with the help of MAPFRE Insurance, encourage the back-to-basics approach by advocating for important safety practices such as wearing seatbelts, curbing distracted driving and slowing down. Service patrols such as the Highway Assistance Program, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, are widely known to help decrease incident-related delay. Less congestion also means less fuel wasted as vehicles idle while waiting for traffic to clear, and the quick clearance provided at accident scenes helps to alleviate secondary crashes.

During Drive Safely Work Week, NETS provides employers with resources for educating employees on fundamental safe driving skills. The DSWW campaign focuses on the following issues:

  • Buckling up all the time and encouraging others to do the same
  • Recognizing and preventing fatigue-impaired driving
  • Driving distraction-free
  • Safe parking and backing
  • Fine-tuning the fundamentals to avoid some of the most common types of crashes

Learn more about Drive Safely Work Week.

Incidents and crashes do occur, however, and 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 Highway Assist Patrol drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield & Cape Cod (seasonal) Monday through Friday during the peak hours of 6:00AM-10:00AM and 3:00PM-7:00PM. MAPFRE understands how important this program is for Massachusetts’ working families, and we are proud to sponsor such a helpful program in the hopes of everyone getting to work and back home safely, every time.

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

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