department of transportation


Phone laws put in the fast lane

Over the past couple years, more and more attention has been brought to the dangers of distracted driving. In particular, using your cell phone while driving. Some states have already made strict rules limiting use to only hands-free devices while other states have not done much. Recent legislation purposed in the House of Representatives would make it illegal to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving nationwide.

Under this legislation, juvenile drivers would be prohibited from using a cell phone all together, while adult drivers would only be allowed to use hands-free devices.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said driver distraction accounts for 15 percent of highway dealths per year. Further research by the Department of Transportation estimates that drivers who use hand-held devices are 20 times more likely to get in a car accident then those using hands-free devices.

With statistics like these, it seems like the House may have good cause to pass this legislation through. Stay up to date on developments on this story here at MassDrive!

Managed Compeition… Success.

April 1st 2008 Massachusetts let the auto insurance industry loose. Shifting from state regulated rates to a managed competition many changes were brought to the Massachusetts auto insurance industry and consumers.

A study by the Department of Insurance analyzing this change included: a preliminary survey of 1,100 consumers, a comprehensive 30-minute survey of more than 4,500 drivers and one-on-one interviews with over 50 insurance agents and executives. This study has shown the overall shift to managed competition to be a positive step for the average Massachusetts auto insurance consumer.

The study showed in the first year of managed competition….

  • Massachusetts drivers saved over $270 million in auto insurance premiums.
  • The auto insurance premium dropped by an average of 8.2 percent.
  • Nine new insurance companies entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market. These new companies entering sparked a competition among themselves, bringing lower rates and better service options to customers.
  • There was a 13% decrease in the number of uninsured cars on Mass roads.

As many consumers saved bundles on affordable auto insurance rates, only three out of four consumers were aware of the insurance market change. The government realizes the lack of knowledge consumers have concerning the new auto insurance industry and hopes to educate the public with more education and outreach.

What Massachusetts Gov't Has to Say About Texting & Driving

Massachusetts DOT has an extensive¬† list of driving distractions they’ve been aware of for quite some time. From drinking and driving to music on the radio, Massachusetts government is moving texting to the top of that list.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximately, “80 percent of all accidents are caused by driver inattention.” (DOT to you: Don’t Text and Drive). With technology advancing at lightning speed we have everything from the radio and video displays to our cell phones to distract us.

A recent study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study that found  drivers who texted while driving were 23 times more likely to crash or get into a near-accident than undistracted driver. (Senators Push Nation Wide Ban On Texting While Driving)

Massachusetts Department of Transportation is serious about cutting down distractions. Currently 17 states ban texting and driving, is Massachusetts next? Keep a close eye out September 30th and October 1st when the U.S. Department of transportation convenes in Washington D.C. to discuss it.

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