drunk driving


Super Bowl Driving Safety Tips

Who’s excited for the Super Bowl?!

The Super Bowl is a true American tradition, and this year in Massachusetts there is an even higher level of anticipation than usual – the Patriots will face off against the Seahawks! Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the best days of the year, but have you thought about Super Bowl safety?

This Sunday can be a dangerous time for drivers on the road. Not only is Massachusetts going to be hit with more snow this weekend, making the road conditions worst (check out our safety tips for driving in the snow), but drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday is rampant. More drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year besides St. Patrick’s Day, according to the Insurance Information Institute. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48% of U.S. traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday are alcohol related.

The best plan of action is to plan ahead. Have a designated driver. Plan to stay overnight at a friend or family member’s house. Book a hotel. Use public transportation. Call a cab or get an Uber. With so many options to travel safely, there is no excuse for drunk driving.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party, provide plenty of yummy food so guests don’t drink on an empty stomach. Search Pinterest or Google to find easy crowd-pleasing recipes! Also, offer non-alcoholic drinks for people to sip on throughout the game.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, MassDrive hopes your drinks are celebratory, and your Super Bowl safe! Lets go Patriots!

 

Super Bowl Driving Safety Tips

Super Bowl Safety – Are You Ready for Super Bowl Sunday?

Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is a true American tradition, and this year in Massachusetts, there is an even higher level of anticipation than usual – the Patriots will face off with the Giants! But have you thought about Super Bowl safety?

Whichever team you’re rooting for this Super Bowl Sunday, make sure you’re ready when you get behind the wheel. It’s not just the wintry New England weather that you’ll need to be prepared for – Super Bowl Sunday can be dangerous on the roads because of all the parties. Super Bowl drunk driving is rampant – more drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year besides St. Patrick’s Day, according to the Insurance Information Institute. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 48% of U.S. traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday are alcohol related.

The best thing you can do to stay safe on Super Bowl Sunday is be prepared. Make plans in advance and include finding a designated driver in your game day preparations. If you find yourself in need, but without a designated driver after the game (and hopefully those drinks will have been celebratory!), there are many alternatives to getting behind the wheel. Call a cab, take public transportation, book a room, or if you must get home with your car on Sunday night, the Tipsy Tow will pick you, your car and as many friends will fit in the truck up and bring you back home. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357), anywhere in the US and Canada, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to request the Tipsy Tow.

If you’re throwing a Super Bowl party, create a safer party environment by making sure you have plenty of food to serve along with alcoholic beverages, so no one drinks on an empty stomach. You could also offer non-alcoholic beverages as well, so everyone has something to sip on during the game. There are so many Super Bowl recipes, and many of them are easy! A simple Google or Pinterest search will have armed with tons of ideas for snacks that will help keep your party safe.

Whatever your plans this Sunday, everyone at MassDrive wishes you a safe and fun Super Bowl. Go Patriots!

Photo by chipgriffin

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips

Stay Safe this New Year'sNew Year’s is a time for celebrating, reflection, resolutions and some auld lang syne. One of the most hyped party nights of the year, there will be lots of festivities occurring this December 31st, which happens to fall on a Saturday this year. Whether you’re throwing a party, checking out the club scene or attending First Night, it is important to make sure you’re safe this New Year’s Eve. Drunk driving and New Year’s seem to go hand-in-hand according to the statistics, so please, take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Drunk driving is especially common on New Year’s Eve, especially between the hours of 9:00pm and 6:00am. Every year, there are 16,000 alcohol-related car accidents. Someone is killed every half hour due to drunk driving and someone else is injured every other minute, according to Lifetips30% of Americans will be involved in a car accident involving alcohol – this year, resolve to not be one of them.

New Year’s Day is considered to be the deadliest day of the year, second to the Fourth of July, according to ABC News. Deaths shoot up 150% on New Year’s because of drunk drivers on the roads. Sadly, it isn’t just driving that’s unsafe. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, New Year’s also has the highest amount of pedestrians killed than any other day throughout the year. Be aware however you travel this New Year’s.

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips:

  • When traveling, choose a designated driver. Sure, no one likes to be left out of the partying on New Year’s, but get all the passengers to pitch in for the driver’s cover charge at the bar, or owe them a big favor. Regardless, if you are going to be traveling by car, make sure your driver is sober. Not only will your journey be safer, a sober driver will be better able to respond to drunk drivers sharing the road.
  • If you are driving and may be tempted to drink, make sure to give your keys up upon arriving at the party. Listen to your friends if they think you are too intoxicated to drive. There are always other and better options than you getting behind the wheel, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you are traveling by car, as the driver or as a passenger, bring along an overnight bag just in case. This will make it less tempting to drive drunk, and you’ll be able to stay over more comfortably.
  • Take public transportation! The MBTA will offer free service after 8pm on New Year’s Eve, and the subway is open until 12:45am. This will give you enough time to go out and take in the beautiful midnight fireworks!
  • Call a cab. Paying a cab fare is much less costly than the price you could pay driving drunk. Don’t want to deal with Boston taxis? Use Uber, a car service app that makes it extremely easy and hassle-free to get a pick up, and you won’t have to worry about paying with cash or calculating a tip when you’ve had a few drinks.
  • Call the Tipsy Tow! If you must get home with your car, call AAA. The Tipsy Tow will pick you, your car and as many friends will fit in the truck up and bring you back home. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357), anywhere in the US and Canada, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Book a room. Why not make a night of it? If you’re traveling to a party somewhere, book a room at a nearby hotel and circumvent having to drive after 6pm. Sites like Priceline and Hotwire always have great deals on hotels. Pamper yourself while staying safe!

Don’t make excuses – there are too many options that will get you home safely. Plan ahead and keep your loved ones in mind when making your New Year’s plans.

May you have a happy and safe New Year’s! This year, don’t let the New Year’s Eve drunk driving statistics keep you from having a good time, but be diligent! I’ll leave you on a positive note with my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne, one by the talented Martin Sexton! From all of us at MassDrive, we wish you the very best in the new year!

Photo by e_calamar

Holiday Travel Tips

Holiday Travel in MA

The holidays! What’s not to love? There’s great music, pretty lights, parties aplenty and, if you’re lucky, a great gift waiting for you under some adorable holiday-themed paper. The holiday season does come its share of challenges amongst the joy, and one of my least favorites is holiday travel in Massachusetts and its surroundings, and all the traffic that goes along with it.

Like any good journey,  the holiday travel season requires some thinking ahead and preparation. Make sure you’re prepared to hit the road with these Massachusetts holiday travel and safety tips.

Be Mindful of Massachusetts Law

  • In the state of Massachusetts, all occupants of your vehicle are required to wear seat belts. Make sure you have a seat and working belt for every passenger and yourself when traveling this holiday.
  • The speed limit on most Massachusetts highways is 65mph, however, some can be as low as 55mph. Leave with plenty of time to get where you’re going this holiday season and pay attention to the speed limit – nothing says “Bah Humbug!” like shelling out for a speeding ticket.
  • If you hit any rotaries on your journey, remember to yield to those already in the rotary when entering and always enter to the right.
  • Texting while driving has been banned in Massachusetts. Let it wait until you get there or you could face $100-$500 in fines, depending on whether it is your first offense. This applies to when you’re stopped at red lights. Again, nothing says “Bah Humbug!” like a hefty ticket. Or a crash, for that matter.

Be Ready for the Road

  • Sign up to get a free FAST LANE transponder and cruise through the tolls on the Turnpike, the Sumner and Ted Williams Tunnels, and the Tobin Memorial Bridge on the way to Grandma’s. If you’re heading out of state, your FAST LANE transponder can be used anywhere E-ZPass is accepted.
  • New England weather is unpredictable, so make sure you’ve winterized your car. Snow tires, an ice scraper, and perhaps a foldable shovel will keep you safe on wintery roads.
  • With a lot of people on the road, wintery conditions and the stress of the holidays, anything can happen. Make sure you’re covered with auto insurance.

Have Fun! But Not Too Much Fun…

  • Turn up the Christmas music while you travel! Most stations will play Christmas music mixed in with their standards, but there are a few stations that play strictly holiday themed music. In Massachusetts, Oldies 103.3 and 105.7 WROR play Christmas music round the clock, and WROR has an adorable segment where kids can call into Santa.
  • Plan ahead if you plan on drinking, and make sure have a designated driver for when you need to get home. The legal limit is a blood-alcohol content under .08. Drunk driving increases over the holidays, and Massachusetts police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Not only does driving under the influence put you in danger of getting arrested, it puts everyone you pass on the road in danger. Err on the side of safety and avoid a drunk driving accident by making sure you have a sober ride home.

Regardless of what you’re celebrating or where you are celebrating, we wish you safe and easy travel and a very happy holiday season!

Photo by freakapotimus

Drunk Driving Crack Down

The head of the state police union Rick Brown is calling for additional officials to help take impaired drivers off the road:

“We need extra patrols out there looking for drunk drivers, especially in the summer. If we put more saturation patrols in these areas, maybe you start taking some of these drivers off the roads.’’

– Rick Brown

In the past few weeks four state police troopers have been injured and one killed while on duty. All five accidents took place between midnight and 2:30 a.m., and in four of these instances the drivers now face drunken driving charges. Police are still seeking a suspect in the fifth case. A report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows the number of police officers killed in traffic accidents has risen 35% from this time last year.

Massachusetts hopes a saturation of officers will help to deter intoxicated persons from driving. Troopers have urged their superiors to increase enforcement during peak drinking and driving hours, especially Friday and Saturday nights along the free ways.

If a driver is caught with a BAC above the legal limit, serious consequences will follow:

  • On the first offense Massachusetts drunk driving laws mandate a fine from $500 to $5,000 and/ or face up to  two and a half years in prison after driving with a blood-alcohol-content of .08 or more. Not only will you face these hardships, but your license will be suspended for a full year.
  • On your second offense the consequences are more sever. A second conviction comes with: guaranteed jail time of at least 60 days no more than two and a half years, fine of $6,000 – $10,000, suspended license for 2 years, and an interlock device installed in your car. If the first offense consequences didn’t deter you from drunk driving, the second offense punishment should.

Drinking and driving is a serious danger for anyone involved, officials are hopeful the additional measures will help to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.

MADD Honors Massachusetts Officers

Yesterday MADD Massachusetts honored more than 30 state troopers, 45 local police officers, five assistant district attorneys and 10 local police department for their commitment to enforcing drunk driving laws. The local police departments received the Drive for Life award for holding sobriety check points in 2010. The honorary breakfast speaker this year was Chris Doyle, a former Wilbraham  Police Officer. Doyle was seriously injured sustaining a traumatic brain injury among others while on duty August of 2006 when he was struck by a three-time offender at a construction roadblock. The combined efforts of this year’s honorees worked together making over 2,800 drunk driving arrests in 2009 averaging almost eight drunk driving arrests per day!

An article from the WNYT writes:

“Drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the United States, affecting three out of every 10 Americans. In Massachusetts, 124 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2008 representing 34% of all traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth.”

Taking the fight against drunk driving to another level the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles shares drunk driving statistics with the public. The RMV has also released that over 4,000 repeat drunk drivers have ignition interlock devices installed on the vehicle. Only 27 of the 1,600 repeat offenders who’ve already completed the interlock program have re-offended after the interlocks removal.

MADD is non-profit organization with more than 400 entities nationwide. MADD proclaims their mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. The organization was founded in 1980 by two mothers who transformed their losses into a national movement putting a stop to drunk driving. MADD works to provide critical emotional support for survivors, family members and friends coping with the death of a loved one caused by a drunk driver.

MADD’s website claims in 2007 almost 13,000 people died in drunk driving crashes, representing 305 of all highway fatalities in the Commonwealth. Reiterating the fact found in the WNYT article above, MADD cites the National Highway Safety Administration to estimate during one’s life time three in ten people will be killed or injured by a drunk driver. Drunk driving is NOT something to take lightly, for more information on how to become involved with or seek help from MADD please visit their website at: www.maddmass.com.

Dangers of Texting and Driving

It’s amazing what  younger generations can accomplish with a few clicks of their cell phone. From making plans for the evening and shopping online to ordering a meal to go, texting and smart phones make life more convenient. While the novelty and ease of communication via texting is widely used, the dangers of this activity behind the wheel must be taken seriously. Many may say something to the effect of, “What? It’s not like I’m drinking and driving!” Which is the truth, the reaction time of someone with a blood alcohol content of .08 reacts four times more quickly than when they are texting sober according to a study by CarandDriver. While 17 states ban texting and driving and 7 states ban complete hand held cell use behind the wheel the temptation may still remain.

When the dangers are this evident that even driving drunk may be safer than texting should make someone think twice before picking up that cell phone behind the wheel. If you struggle with the temptation to check that e-mail or text here are a few ways to avoid it:

  • Give yourself a reality check and watch this video the Today Show featured in a texting & driving segment.
  • If you’re trying to find an address, pull over and park before checking your phone.
  • If you have someone in the car with you ask them to help you break the texting habit.
  • Place your cell phone out of reach.
  • If this isn’t enough to stop you, turn your cell phone off.

Drunk Driving and the Consequences

Drunk driving can lead to more intense consequences than you may thing. From fines and jail time to a suspended license and interlock devices the penalties are harsh. Once convicted of a OUI or DWI insurance companies see you as too big of a risk and may choose to drop you from their coverage. You can bet your search search for auto insurance after drunk driving charges will include sky high premiums.

On the first offense Massachusetts drunk driving laws mandate a fine from $500 to $5,000 and/ or face up to  two and a half years in prison after driving with a blood-alcohol-content of .08 or more. Not only will you face these hardships, but your license will be suspended for a full year.

On your second offense the consequences are more sever. A second conviction comes with: guaranteed jail time of at least 60 days no more than two and a half years, fine of $6,000 – $10,000, suspended license for 2 years, and an interlock device installed in your car. If the first offense consequences didn’t deter you from drunk driving, the second offense punishment should.

After a night at the bar or drinks at a firend’s house, do yourself a favor and call a taxi. The cash spent on cab fare may have just saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you would have been caught driving under the influence.

Ready for a Quote?
Get A Quote