Memorial Day


Travel Tips For Memorial Day Weekend

driving

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the beginning of summer, and if you’re planning a fun weekend getaway, you’re not alone.  There will be millions of drivers on the road this weekend and all of them will be eager to get to their destination.  Everyone wants to make good time during travel, but it’s more important to be safe and prepared for anything.  Keep these tips in mind this weekend and your drive should go smoothly, safely, and hopefully quickly!

  • Make sure your car is in tip top shape.  If you’ll be traveling a long distance, get an oil change, make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid, make sure all of your headlights and blinkers are working properly, and make sure your tires have enough air in them.
  • Be prepared.  Holiday travel can be very stressful, there are tons of other people on the road and anything can happen.  Make sure you’re prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your car.  It should include first aid, a flashlight with extra batteries, equipment to change a flat tire, water and food such as granola bars, a fire extinguisher, reflective cones, jumper cables, duct tape, and a blanket.
  • Plan your route.  Make sure you know how often you will need to stop for gas and bathroom breaks, and map out potential rest stops and gas stations where this would be possible.  It’s also a good idea to download traffic apps as many of them will tell you where these things are along your route.  You also want to make sure your auto insurance is up to date and that you have all of the proper coverages you need.
  • Get an E-ZPass transponder.  This will make your life much easier when it comes to tolls, you can just quickly pass through the toll without having to stop which will definitely save you some time compared to those drivers without an E-ZPass.
  • Obey the law.  Make sure everyone in your car is wearing their seat belt and that you’re obeying all posted speed limits.  The other thing that we want to stress is to avoid distracted driving at all costs.  This can be extremely dangerous not only for yourself but for other drivers as well, so if your phone is going off or you need directions, ask the person in the passenger seat to do it and avoid getting yourself a hefty ticket.  Police officers will be out in full force this weekend so make sure you’re obeying the law.  Nothing like getting a ticket to start your weekend off on the wrong foot.
  • Use a designated driver.  If you plan on drinking this is a no-brainer.  Technically the legal limit is a blood-alcohol level under .08.  Drunk driving tends to increase over the holiday weekend, and as we said police will be out in full-force looking for drivers endangering themselves and others.  We want everyone to have an enjoyable weekend, but we want them to do it responsibly.

This weekend is sure to be full of family, friends, food, and fun in the sun!  Enjoy the weekend but make sure you’re prepared for anything and most of all drive responsibly!

Photo By: Land Rover MENA

Keeping Your Teen Safe On The Road This Summer

teen driver

Did you know that summer is the most dangerous time of year for teens to be on the road? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest for drivers between ages 15-20.   It makes sense, less time in school, more time for parties, going to the beach, road trips, and endless other places to drive to during the summer season. Don’t let your teen become another statistic, share these safety tips with them and help them practice safe driving this summer!  Remember to set a good example as well, teens pick up habits from other drivers that they observe and you don’t want them to think it’s ok to send a quick text or ditch their seat belt just because they’re going somewhere close.  These tips may seem like common sense to some, but new drivers  don’t have as much experience behind the wheel and may not consider things that drivers with a little more experience would consider obvious.

  • Click it or ticket!  Wearing your seat belt is not only a good idea, but it’s also the law here in Massachusetts.  New drivers may think it’s no big deal to hop in the car and ride down the street to the store without their seat belt just because it’s close, but accidents can happen anywhere. Make sure your teen knows just how important it is to wear your seat belt.  Did you know that drivers and passengers increase their risk of injury or death by up to 50% by not wearing a safety belt?  Those are odds you don’t want to gamble with so remind your teen of the importance of their seat belt and set a good example when you’re driving as well!
  • Talk To Your Teen About Car Maintenance – Again, some things that may seem obvious to experienced drivers may not be so clear to teens.  Make sure your teen knows how to check their tire pressure, put air in the tires, knows how often they need an oil change and tire rotation, and knows how to check and replace the car’s fluids.  A problem as small as low tire pressure can cause the car to handle differently, and may even potentially lead to an accident.  Make sure your teen knows exactly what to look for when it comes to their car.
  • Understand the Dangers of Distracted Driving – Although teens are the least experienced drivers on the road, they are typically the most likely to use their cell phones when behind the wheel.  Averting your eyes from the road for even five seconds, or the amount of time it takes to send a quick text, can lead to a major accident.  Even having too many passengers in a car can be a major distraction, paying attention to friends, music, and the road all at the same time is difficult for any driver, but especially those with little experience. If your teen still has their junior operator license, make sure they are following the rules and regulations that go along with that, which can be found here.
  • Communicate the Danger of Drinking And Driving – Again, this may seem obvious but it’s still a good idea to sit down with your teen and make sure they understand exactly how important this is.  Underage drinking continues to be an issue and although there are attempts to crack down on it, teens still find access to alcohol and it’s important that parents communicate how dangerous and deadly drinking and driving can be.  Make sure your teen knows not to drive themselves, or get into the car with anyone that has had a drink.
  • Limit Unnecessary Trips – Unless your teen has a purpose for their outing, they shouldn’t be going out “just for a drive”.  The less time they spend on the road, the less likely they are to be in an accident.
  • Make Sure Your Teen Knows Where They Are Going – If your teen is taking a trip to the beach or a concert, make sure they know exactly how to get there to prevent getting lost.  If their destination is nearby, take a test drive out there with them and make sure they know exactly where they’re going. If their destination is too far for a convenient test drive, make sure they have a GPS system, and fully charged cell phone to use in case of emergency.

These tips will help your teen make smart decisions and stay safe on the road this summer.  Make sure they understand how important it is for them to give the road their undivided attention, distractions while driving have caused fatal accidents in the past, and the sad thing is that they are typically preventable.  The sooner your teen understands these tips, the safer they will be!

Photo By: State Farm

Massachusetts Events This May

zipline

It’s finally starting to feel like spring outside, and to celebrate we’ve found some of the best events and festivals going on across the state this month!  After a chilly start to spring, the air is warming up and it’s the perfect time to head outside with a group of friends and family.  These outdoor events will have you coming down with a serious case of spring fever while you soak up the sun, so spread the word, sit back, and enjoy!

Treetop Xtreme Adventure – Become one with nature at this event, hosted by the Worcester Ecotarium!  Guests will get a combo ticket for the Tree Canopy Walkway and a Tree Climbing Expedition, where they will venture out 40 feet above the ground on rope and plank bridges while you move through tree platforms, and then zipline down to the forest floor!  Guests will then get to climb on of Worcester’s old-growth trees with harnesses and ropes, this expeditions will be led by trained tree climbers and participants are required to be at least 7 years of age.  This event is for one day only, and there would be four sessions that are one hour long, each session is limited to 8 participants.  Tickets are $30 per person, get them while they last!

Paradise City Arts Festival – Take a ride out west to Northampton for this spring arts festival!  This event has something for every member of the family including live entertainment, flowering sculpture garden, special exhibits, demonstrations, activities, delicious food, and exhibits from artists from 30 states selling their work.  This Festival takes place on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27 , the hours are from 10 AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 AM-4 PM on Monday.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, and free for children 12 and under!  Stroll under the sun, take in some culture, and enjoy all that this artsy city has to offer!

Chesterwood Vintage Motorcar Festival –  The guys in your life will love this event, filled will dozens of collector vehicles, live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and of course plenty of food from local restaurants, what’s not to like?  If antique cars aren’t your thing there are plenty of gardens and woodland walks on the property to explore!  The event will be held at historic Chesterwood in Stockbridge on May 26th from 10 AM – 4 PM, rain or shine.  Tickets are $15 for adults and children under 18 are free and can be bought in advance of the day of the event.  This is an extremely popular event and is often considered the kick-off to summer, don’t miss out!

Food Truck Festival – Known for their unique creations and low prices, food trucks are the latest craze when it comes to fast food, and now’s your chance to sample a wide variety of options!  The Food Truck Festival will be in Lexington, MA on Friday, May 31st from 5 PM-9 PM and will feature many different dinner options from food trucks and local restaurants.  Entry is free but you do have to pay for food of course.  There will be live entertainment from local band, the Arl-Lex Five & Dime, who will be performing folk, country, gospel, and some early rock & roll.  Now everyone in the family can eat exactly what they want for dinner, and you won’t have to be the one doing the cooking!

Which one of these events will you be attending to enjoy the warm weather?  All of these events are family friendly and are being held outdoors, so get out and about this month and enjoy the sunshine!

Photo By: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

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