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MassDOT, MAPFRE Insurance Reminder: plan ahead for travel due to increased traffic volume for the Labor Day Holiday and Back-to-School

As more families opted for local vacations this summer, traffic volume in general increased in many regions, with some states even surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Bay Staters also took to the roads and now, with holidays and back-to-school approaching, Massachusetts residents and out-of-state visitors should plan ahead to avoid congestion.

Not only does this traffic cause delays, but there is a high risk for traffic related crashes with more people traveling.

Drivers are advised that when stuck in bumper-to-bumper or stop-and-go traffic, the most important thing is to keep eyes on the road. Avoid any distractions like cell phones or changing the radio. Massachusetts now has a hands-free law which means put the cell phone away when driving.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has been offering advice this summer which is still relevant in the months ahead if going to the Cape:

  • Plan your arrival trip Sunday through Thursday. If you must travel on a Friday, plan to arrive before 2 p.m., or after 9 p.m.
  • When leaving the Cape, schedule your departure on non-holiday Mondays through Fridays. If you must leave on a Sunday or holiday, leave before 1 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Approach Cape Cod by the Bourne Bridge (Routes 195 and 495) instead of the Sagamore Bridge (Route 3). Some 25 percent fewer cars use the Bourne Bridge in a year’s time.
  • Check the traffic ahead of time by using a GPS map, or visiting the 511 or MassDOT website.

When stuck in any traffic, avoid weaving in and out of lanes. This only makes congestion worse and puts yourself and others in danger.

Remember to keep a safe distance from other vehicles and drive slowly. This will give you more time to react to a potential collision. As always, remain calm, cool, and collected. Traffic can be frustrating.  Reacting negatively on the road is extremely dangerous to everyone around you, including yourself.

Even the safest of drivers can find themselves in need of assistance, which is why the MassDOT Highway Assistance Program, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, is on the road to help with fixing minor mechanical problems, flat tires, fuel shortages, and emergency situations. The Highway Assistance Program drivers monitor some of the state’s busiest highways and turnpikes around Greater Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Cape Cod (seasonal.)

The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roadways and interstates, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) between New York and 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.

Written By

Keith Jensen

Senior Vice President, Northeast Business Development

MAPFRE Insurance

Written By:

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