massachusetts drivers


Toyota Recall & Massachusetts Residents

Toyota’s freeze on the productions of popular vehicle models and recall of 4.1 million additional vehicles may be reason enough take look at your own vehicle. Toyota announced last week accelerator pedals made by CTS may stick or slowly release from a depressed position on 2.3 million U.S-built cars and light trucks, causing them to speed uncontrollably. Toyota’s public accusation was not lightly taken as CTS shares have fallen 18% since January 20th, day before Toyota pin pointed CTS as the reason for recall.

Massachusetts Division of Insurance has ruled Toyota owners who believe the cause of a previous accident was caused by the sticking CTS pedal may appeal recent and older auto insurance surcharges. The driver appealing auto insurance surcharges must be able to prove the cause of the accident was uncontrolled acceleration. Toyota drivers must also be able to prove the vehicle involved was a recalled model. If you would like to appeal an insurance surcharge know that you must lodge an appeal by March 3oth or within 60 days of receiving a recall notice, whichever occurs latest.

Toyota plans on shipping the necessary replacement parts to dealerships across the country later this week. Technicians will still need to be trained to install the essential parts however Toyota is working to solve this major safety issues as quickly as they can. This is the car manufacturer’s second major recall, the first caused by floor mat entrapment, shaking Toyota’s confidence and share of the auto market.

Teaching Teens to Drive

When a teenager first learns to drive it can be just as nerve wrecking for parents as the new driver. Some parents are terrified for their son or daughter’s safety driving on the road, others should be more worried about their child’s parallel parking. When readying your teenager for their drivers test it’s important to have more than a few lessons to practice the necessary skills.

For the first couple lessons find a location without many cars, light posts or other obstacles – like a vacant parking lot. When your teen sits behind the wheel be sure to give precise and simple instructions far enough ahead of time they will be able to safely respond. Also avoid overloading your new driver with too much information. Allow enough time for your son or daughter to absorb information in segmented lessons. Teaching ninety degree turns, parallel parking, lane changes, and driving in reverse all in the same day will most likely confuse and stress your teen. Give one lesson on each driving skill, and keep practicing until they feel comfortable with each of the skills.

Above all set an example for your new teen driver:

If you run red and yellow lights, speed down the highway at 75 MPH, weave in and out of traffic, take chances on the road, ride the bumper of the car in front of you, scream at other drivers, or exhibit other signs of road rage, you’re showing your teen that the rules don’t count—and this can be fatal.   – teendriving.com

Although teaching a new driver can be nerve wrecking, it can also be rewarding. When your teenager passes his or her driver’s exam he or she will see it as an entryway to adulthood. With a license it’s important to remind them driving comes with responsibility, and your trust. If your teen exhibits responsible driving reward them. If your teen exhibits dangerous and/or unlawful driving, you will need to negotiate their driving terms. As a parent you have the ultimate say in your child’s driving, ensure they can handle their new responsibility before handing over the car keys.

Preventing Distracted Driving

Massachusetts lost 442 lives to auto accidents in 2005, of these 42% were attributed to impaired drivers. These impaired drivers may have been distracted for a million reasons. Some with a little too much to drink while others chat away on their cell phone. If a driver were to give his or her full attention to the road and surroundings auto accidents would decrease significantly. It’s important to consider the following suggestions when driving, they may just save a life…

  • Here’s the big one: Turn your cell phone OFF. This way you will not be tempted to answer, send a text message, check your calendar, or use it for any other function it has.
  • ABSOLUTELY do not drink and drive. If you do you’re asking for trouble.
  • If you’ve had little to no sleep do not drive.
  • If you insist on listening to music while driving adjust the radio, CD, or mp3 selection before hitting the road.
  • Eat before or after you drive. Don’t be that guy in traffic with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a Big Mac.
  • Allow yourself sufficient time to get from one destination to the next.
  • For all the women out there rushing to make it from one place to the next despite the last tip, believe me I understand being in a rush, but please apply your make up before operating an automobile or after you’ve parked not in traffic. It’s better to be a couple minutes late, than a few hours from an accident.

What Does Everyone Have to Say About "Managed Competition"?

For years, the state of Massachusetts controlled auto insurance carriers to produce higher revenues.  However, the system has changed directions, and state officials put a “managed competition” program into place in order to lower car insurance premiums and rates. This program has been in existence for about two years now, and has received both praise and criticism from the public.

Many advocates predict that the introduction of this new system will cause many new carriers to enter  the industry. Opponents believe that the “managed competition” system would create discrimination of select drivers.  They also believe that the cheaper premiums would effect the state insurance agents negatively by reducing their commission.  These mixed reviews have not fully happened because the  system is still quite young. 

There are currently a few companies that provide auto insurance for Massachusetts drivers, and are offering competitive and cheap premiums and rates for their consumers.  As the years go by with this new system, more opinions will form, and hopefully the auto insurance industry will be both beneficial for both consumers and state agents.

Summer and construction..

Summer season is here again! This means one thing… so is construction season.

Massive pile ups and countless detours plague the roads. Massachusetts roads crumbled until Gov. Deval Patrick signed a $2 billion emergency transportation bond, starting hundreds of previously under-funded projects. 

With additional funding: “Massachusetts will see about $115 million projects this summer, compared with $92 million last year.” – Roadway Headaches by Elaine Thompson

With this much construction in Massachusetts this summer you’re bound to drive through it sometime. When traveling through the work zones drive carefully. Fines double in work zones, and the constant construction may change the road’s drivability and sometimes direction. Save yourself a few bucks on tickets, car insurance, and accident’s medical bills, drive safely.

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