MERRIMAC — Chief Larry Fisher reports that the Merrimac Fire Department responded to a motor vehicle crash on I-495 early Thursday morning.
At 7:17 a.m., Merrimac Fire was dispatched to I-495 south at the Merrimac off ramp near the Broad St. bridge for a report of a single vehicle crash.
A Cadillac SUV was heavily damaged after crashing into four sections of guardrail along the highway. The male driver was able to extricate himself from the vehicle and was uninjured, but was taken to the hospital for observation.
Merrimac Fire, Amesbury Fire and the Massachusetts State Police responded to the scene.
“The stretch of highway along I-495 in Merrimac is one of the more deadly sections of highway in the state,” said Chief Fisher. “We frequently respond to crashes here, sometimes multiple in a day or week. It’s imperative that drivers pay attention, reduce their speed, and drive defensively—not just to protect themselves, but to protect others.”
Chief Fisher shares the following safety tips for driving:
- Don’t text and drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
- If you can, keep your phone off while behind the wheel. This will help to ensure the driver’s focus remains solely on the road. According to the NHTSA, engaging in tasks like reaching for your phone, dialing, and texting increases the risk of crashing threefold.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents and fatal car crashes. Don’t feel pressured to speed in order to keep up with traffic or friends on the road. Speeding tickets can be pricey and will result in an increase on your car insurance premium.
- Be a defensive driver. Always remain cognizant of traffic ahead, behind, and next to your vehicle at all times. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you, especially in areas where the speed limit is slower. Remember to split the road with cyclists, even if shared lanes are not marked. Turn your headlights on to increase visibility.
For additional driving safety tips, visit the NHTSA website here.