Driving Tip: The Three Second Rule

The American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association suggests using the three second rule driving tip to help prevent rear-end accidents.

The “three-second rule” accounts for your reaction time to the movements of the vehicle ahead and your vehicle’s stopping distance.

You should add more time if the road is slippery, if you’re being crowded by a tailgater, if you’re towing a trailer or if you’re driving a large truck.

The three second rule driving tip:

When the vehicle ahead of you passes a stationary object, start counting:  1,001 … 1,002 …

The first second is your reaction time; the next two seconds account for your braking distance

You should not reach the object before you count to … 1,003. If you do, you are following too closely.

At a vehicle speed of 55 mph, the three-second rule creates a gap of 243 feet between cars.

If you’re looking for Massachusetts auto insurance, call, click or stop by. MassAutoQuote (powered by Johnson & Rohan Insurance) will save you money, improve your coverage and give you the best service you can find.

Collector Car Insurance


Do you own a vintage auto?  If you own a car at least 25 years old, or that might be collectible in nature, MassAutoQuote may be able to insure it through the specialty market- great coverage at a fraction of the price.

We have two great Collector Car Insurance markets:

Grundy invented the agreed value classic car insurance policy in 1947 and are a true leader in the market- insure your classic with “The Olde Original.”

Hagerty Insurance is another established leader in classic car insurance- between the two, let us put together a customized quote from a single car to major collection.

What is your car worth? Find out by clicking: here.


Gas Saving Tips

Gas Saving Tips:

10 Tips to Get the Most out of a Tank of Gas

Rising gas prices highlight the need to squeeze every mile out of a gallon of gas

Consumer Reports

1. Stay at half. Keep at least a half-tank of fuel during cold winter months, and when there is a risk of shortages, say, due to a lack of gasoline delivery drivers to meet travel demands, or when a major storm or hurricane is imminent. This tip also goes for holiday road trips, when roads can be congested and slow moving. Having plenty of gas onboard can ease stress and give you more flexibility with when and where you fill up.

2. Check online. Apps and websites such as GasBuddy can show local gas prices, making it easy to find good prices in your area or if you need to travel. Generally, gas stations well off major highways and away from city centers tend to have better prices, as do warehouse stores and some major travel centers.

3. Minimize travel. If you can delay errands or other activities, you will preserve the gas that you purchased and reduce overall consumption for the region, helping in some small way to reduce the gas scarcity.

4. Obey speed limits. When you drive, follow the speed limits and drive smoothly. Your driving habits can play a significant role in fuel economy.

A recent CR test shows this: We measured gas mileage while driving at a steady 55, 65, and 75 mph in a Nissan Altima and Toyota RAV4. We found that reducing speed from 65 mph to 55 mph improved fuel economy by 6 mpg in the Altima and 8 mpg in the RAV4. The penalty of cruising at 75 mph, rather than 65 mph, was almost 7 mpg in the Altima and 6 mpg in the RAV4. Higher speeds exact a toll in fuel consumption. Another way to look at it: Speeding up from 55 to 75 mph is like moving from a compact car to a large SUV. Beyond fuel concerns, speeding is, of course, a safety risk.

5. Drive evenly. Avoid hard acceleration and braking whenever possible. In our tests, frequent bursts of acceleration and braking reduced an older Toyota Camry’s mileage by 2 to 3 mpg. Once up to speed, maintain a steady pace. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. Unnecessary braking wastes the fuel you used to get up to speed. Drive smoothly and anticipate the movement of traffic. Smooth acceleration, cornering, and braking also extend the life of the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires.

6. Pay attention to aerodynamics. Remove roof racks when they are not being used. At highway speeds, more than 50 percent of engine power goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag. Don’t add to that by carrying unneeded things on the roof. We did fuel-economy tests at highway speed on a Nissan Altima and Toyota RAV4 with a roof rack, a tail-hitch rack, and a rooftop box. Carrying two mountain bikes on the roof had the biggest impact. The Altima lost 13 mpg, going from 46 mpg to 33 mpg. The RAV4 lost 7 mpg, dropping to 32 mpg from 39 mpg.

There’s even a loss when driving with an empty roof rack: The Altima dropped 5 mpg, and the Toyota lost 2 mpg. The Nissan lost 12 mpg with the bikes on the hitch-mounted rack, while the RAV4 was down only 5 mpg. The bikes stuck out beyond the sides of the sedan, which created extra drag. They were mostly hidden behind the wider, boxier RAV4’s bodywork.

The rooftop box resulted in a 9 mpg decrease for the Altima and a 5 mpg drop for the RAV4.

Overall, the aerodynamic drag doesn’t hurt the more boxy RAV4 as much as the sleeker Altima.

7. Buy good-quality gas. We typically recommend using Top Tier gas—that is, gas that is held to a higher standard through the voluntary participation of numerous gas station brands, including Chevron, Costco, Exxon, Mobil, and Shell. Beware that many familiar brands do not have Top Tier gas. The goal is to feed your car good-quality gas whenever possible, but it is fair to be flexible during a shortage or when traveling. The detergents in Top Tier gas can eventually clean any engine deposits that may accumulate when good-quality gas is more readily available.

8. Skip the premium. Save money and skip premium gas unless it is “required.” This is indicated on the fuel filler door. Many cars list “recommended,” which means it is optional. If there is only midgrade or premium fuel available, this will work fine in a car that is rated for regular gasoline.

9. Check tire pressure. Check your tire pressure. Tires lose about 1 psi a month. Having tires with lower pressure than what is recommended on your doorjamb sticker can affect performance, tire longevity, and fuel economy.

10. Skip the AC. Using air conditioning does consume gas. In mild weather, if you can get by without it, even if you open the windows, it will give incremental savings. But once it gets hot, having AC on to cool the cabin and lower humidity is a wise investment in your comfort and ability to stay alert while driving.

Camper plates or trailer plates?

Camper plates or trailer plates

It’s a question almost as old as some of the Registry workers themselves: Camper plates or trailer plates on my Massachusetts camper trailer?

Camper plates must have permanent living facilities (sink and toilet).

Camper plates may also be issued to vehicles which meet the definition of House Trailer (a house trailer that has no motor power and is equipped for human habitation – includes bathroom and sink facilities). These vehicles are not to be used to transport property other than that property used for human habitation or camping purposes. A four wheel tow dolly, when used in conjunction with a tractor/trailer combination, must be registered as a semi-trailer. Trailer weight is always rounded up to the nearest thousand pounds.

Auto Home (CAMPER):

A. Definition: Auto home, any motor vehicle originally designed or permanently altered and equipped for human habitation which is not used to transport property other than that property used for human habitation or camping purposes. A motor vehicle designed primarily to transport property which has been temporarily altered or equipped for human habitation shall not be deemed to be an auto home. (MGL ch. 90 s. 1)

B. Plate Types: There are three types of auto home plates:

Auto Home Normal (Plate Type: AHN) – Auto Home Normal plates consist of three to five numbers

Auto Home Reserved (Plate Type: AHR) – Auto Home Reserved plates consist of one or two numbers.

Auto Home Vanity (Plate Type: AHV) – ALAR maintains the plate number preceded by the code “CA.”

C. Plates Issued: Auto Home Normal, Reserved and Vanity – Two plates are issued. For Trailers, the Clerk will discard the second plate.

D. Plate Fees: An Auto Home Normal (AHN) plate is charged a $50 yearly fee. An Auto Home Reserved (AHR) plate is charged $70 ($50 annual fee plus a $20 special plate fee). An Auto Home Vanity (AHV) plate is charged $100 ($50 annual fee plus a $50 special plate fee).

If the customer registers the vehicle after October 1, the registration fee will be half the initial registration fee. The special plate fee will remain the same.

E. Expiration Date: Auto Home plates expire annually on November 30.


A. Definition:  Trailer plates are issued to any vehicle or object on wheels and having no motive power of its own, but which is drawn by or used in combination with, a motor vehicle. It shall not include a pole dolly or pole dickey, so called, nor a pair of wheel commonly used as an implement for other purposes than transportation, or a portable, collapsible or separate two wheel tow dolly limited only to the purpose of transporting or towing a registered vehicle, nor farm machinery or implements when used in connection with the operation of a farm or estate, nor any vehicle when towed behind a farm tractor and used in connection with the operation of a farm or estate.

Camper plates may also be issued to vehicle which meet the definition of House Trailer (a house trailer has no motor power and is equipped for human habitation — includes bathroom and sink facilities.) These vehicles are not to be used to transport property other than that property used for human habitation or camping purposes. A four wheel tow dolly, when used in conjunction with a tractor/trailer combination, must be registered as a semi-trailer. Trailer weight is always rounded up to the nearest thousand pounds.

B. Plate Types: There are two types of trailer plates.

Trailer Normal (Plate Type: TRN) – Trailer Normal plates consist of four to six numbers.

Trailer Reserved (Plate Type: TRR) – Trailer Reserved plates consist of three number or less or a combination of letter and numbers (first two digits may be letters TL, TT, TR).

C. Plates Issued: Trailer Normal and Reserved – One plate is issued.

D. Plate Fees: A Trailer Normal plate fee is based on the weight of the trailer at the rate of $20 per 1,000 pounds. A Trailer Reserved plate is charged the same registration fee as the Trailer Normal plus a $20 special plate fee.

E. Expiration Date: Trailer plates expire annually on November 30. All trailer registration fees are reduced by 1/2 on or after September 1. NOTE: if the total gross weight of a trailer, which is the combined weight of the trailer and its cargo, is 3,000 lbs or less, a MA title is not required.

Homemade Trailers

Builders of homemade trailers with a gross weight of more than 3,000 lbs. must apply for a MA Assigned Vehicle Identification Number.

The gross weight of a new or used trailer is determined by the manufacturer and will be listed on the trailer’s certificate of Origin and on the trailer itself. The gross weight of a homemade trailer is determined by the builder of the trailer.

NOTE: Log Splitter of Wood chipper

A trailer registration plate may be issued fi the log splitter of wood chipper and trailer are permanent components of one another (i.e.- non-detachable). However, a trailer registration may not be issued to a log splitter or wood chipper by itself (i.e.- the unit is not permanently attached to a trailer). If the log splitter or wood chipper is detachable, the trailer carrying the log splitter must be insured and registered.

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Discounts

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Discounts

The search is on for Massachusetts Auto Insurance Discounts. There are so many different insurance companies that offer different discount programs. The trick is to find which company best suits your needs and your wallet.

For example: Are you a student? Certain companies offer larger good student discounts than other companies. Are you married? Companies offer different multi-car discounts. Do you own a home, condominium or do you rent?

We’re here to you find the right Massachusetts Auto Insurance Discounts for you:

1.) Package Your Auto & Home Insurance through the same agency/company!

Companies offer big discounts if they have both your home and auto insurance. Discounts available are anywhere from 10% – 25% on the auto & 10% – 20% on the home.

2.) Utilize an Independent Insurance Agency! 

Most Massachusetts Insurance Agencies write business with five auto insurance carriers. By utilizing an Independent Agency you will be utilizing the most valuable tool that the new, managed competition system offers. An Independent Insurance Agency will be most familiar with the different discounts and programs that are available. MassAutoQuote is powered and operated by Johnson & Rohan Insurance. Call, click or stop by and we’ll show you what great rates and service feels like.

3.) Take advantage of available discounts!

This one is, sort of, the tricky one. Different companies offer different discounts and knowing which ones are best for you is where an Independent Insurance Agent should be able to provide you valuable assistance.

When reviewing different companies discounts, however, keep in mind that no matter how many alleged discounts or percentage points companies are promising, the bottom line premium is the most important thing.

Some available discounts:

  • Account discount on your auto if you have a home, apartment or condominium policy with the same company.
  • Improved excellent driver & excellent driver plus discounts (99 & 98 drivers).
  • Pay in full discounts.
  • Hybrid vehicle discount.
  • Advanced driver training discount.
  • Certain college (for example: Boston College & Merrimack College) and organization (for example: Mass Bar Association & Mass Medical Society) discounts.
  • Good student discount (“B”or better)
  • Student away at school discount.

4.)  Make certain that you have the best insurance program!

Massachusetts consumers have long been neglected compared to insurance programs that have been available to out of state auto insurance policy holders.

Some Massachusetts Discount programs include:

  • Disappearing Collision Deductible.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost.
  • Emergency Road Travel Expenses.
  • Auto loan/Gap Coverage.
  • Combined bill options.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer billing option/ No service fees.

Discount Double Check Annual Insurance Review

annual discount double check insurance review

You’ve come to the right place. MassAutoQuote offers our free, Massachusetts Discount Double Check Annual Insurance Review. Like a good spring cleaning, visit, phone, or exchange e-mails with us to review your insurance coverage!

It is important to understand your insurance coverage.

We are here to help.

Some questions to ask us:
  • Do we carry adequate liability limits? Limits should equal, at least, your net worth.
  • Should we carry Umbrella coverage? (Yes.)
  • What is the value of our vehicle? If the value is low, should we still carry collision coverage?
  • Are all new drivers included?
  • Do other companies offer lower premiums?
  • If our car loan is paid off, should we remove the lienholder on our policy?
  • Are we getting all available discounts?
  • Should you have Special Items, such as jewelry, antiques, silverware, or collectibles scheduled onto your policy?
  • Do we have enough life insurance?
  • Would you like us to quote your business insurance? Johnson & Rohan Insurance has great commercial markets.

Call us for your annual, insurance review, explanation of coverage, and discount double-check.

Massachusetts Insurance Accident Surcharge Appeal

Massachusetts Accident Surcharge Appeal

Massachusetts Surcharge Appeal

How did your winter go?

Were you found “at-fault” in a Massachusetts auto accident?

Were you involved in a weather related, slip and slide accident?

Have you received the surcharge notice? If so, this means your insurance company determined you are more than 50% at-fault in the accident and more than $500 was paid out in damages.

If you believe you are not more than 50% at-fault in the accident, then you should appeal the surcharge.

You should submit the written appeal (& non-refundabe $50) to the MA Board of Appeal within 30 days of receiving the surcharge notice.

When determining fault in an accident, unlike the insurance companies, the Massachusetts Board of Appeals takes into consideration contributing factors. Such as: road condition (icy, wet, snow-covered), visibility, other vehicle erratic driving, etc.

The MA Board of Appeal tells us it is presently taking about 9 months before you will receive your hearing date.

Once you have received your hearing date you can: appear in person, submit a written statement, or select someone to appear on your behalf.

Appeal hearings are scheduled in: Boston, Brockton, Peabody, Plymouth, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, or Worcester.

Massachusetts Winter Driving Tips

Massachusetts Winter Driving Tips

With snow forecast in Massachusetts, MassAutoQuote offers some tips to keep in mind when driving in winter conditions:

Beware of snow banks! Go slow when pulling in and out of parking lots or side streets. Drive slow, in general, because you can’t see vehicles driving in and out of parking lots and side streets. Road are narrower and driving more harrowing. Be careful.

Be prepared.  Have your mechanic check your car’s battery, brakes, fluid levels and tire wear.  Keep your gas tank more than half full- it lowers the chance of freezing and you’ll also avoid running out of gas if your stuck in a traffic jam on 128.

Take care in pulling out.  Your car reacts differently to accelerating on snow, make sure there is plenty of time/space to get your car up to speed.  Remember other vehicles may have trouble braking because of the conditions.

Back your car into the driveway when possible.  You’ll have better vision when pulling out.

Be aware of walkers or joggers on the street. When sidewalks are impassable, die hard joggers and dog walkers are forced to venture onto the street for a clearer path.   Keep an eye out for them!

When waiting to make a left hand turn, keep the wheels of your car pointed forward.  If your wheels are turned to the left and you are rear-ended, your car will be pushed into the path of on-coming traffic.

Braking.  If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start to skid, pump the brakes to gain control of the skidding.  If your car has anti-lock brakes, slam and hold down the brakes to allow the anti-lock system to take over.

When you must travel during a storm, notify others of your estimated time of arrival and your intended route.

If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help.  Run the engine and heater sparingly.  Also make your exhaust pipe is clear from snow and ventilate your car to prevent carbon monoxide build up.

If stuck in a storm, preserve your energy.  Have food (energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky) in your car.   They will provide your body with energy to produce its own heat.  Have water available to prevent dehydration.  Don’t eat snow, it lowers your body temperature- if necessary, melt it first.

Prepare a Winter Driving Kit and leave it in your trunk.  Your kit should include an extra pair of gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, food basics (energy bars, trail mix or beef jerky work well), water or energy drink.  An affordable car battery- air compressor can provide a battery charge or refill a flat tire.

Driver New to Winter Driving?  Find an open location with wintry conditions and let the inexperienced driver practice accelerating and braking on snow.  Your car will behave differently on snow and ice and a little practice can make a big difference.

Massachusetts Move Over Law

move over law

The Massachusetts move over law requires all drivers to move one lane over while approaching a vehicle on the side of the road. If you can’t move over one lane then you must drastically reduce your speed.

This applies not only to Police, Fire, and Ambulances and Tow trucks, but also to DOT workers, Utility workers, municipal workers, and disabled vehicles on the road.

There is no downside to keeping distance or reducing your speed while passing stopped vehicles on the roadside. When we don’t, people get hurt.

“Every year about 23 roadside workers and first responders (one every two weeks) lose their life at the roadside and hundreds more are injured while tending to disabled vehicles.”

“Despite being passed in all 50 states, 71 percent of Americans are unaware of Move Over laws that require drivers to reduce their speed and switch lanes to protect these workers.” (NHTSA)

AAA publishes each state’s move over law:


Drivers traveling in the same direction and approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle, or tow or recovery vehicle with flashing lights must slow down to a safe speed and, if practicable, move to a non-adjacent lane.

Move Over Massachusetts!


Massachusetts Antique Vehicle Insurance

Massachusetts Antique Vehicle

What is an antique car or truck? Under MA antique license plate rules, an antique vehicle is a car manufactured at least 25 years ago, which is maintained for use in exhibitions, parades and other public events. If you are interested in Antique Plates there are certain rules to be aware of.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles designates antique plates as “restricted.” “Restricted to those vehicles over 25 years of age, restricted to test drives, movement of vehicles to and from repair locations, and public functions such as parades.”


  • Fill out and submit an insurance company stamped, RTA form.
  • Submit previous, signed over, certificate of title.


The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires original, signed over title, antique vehicle application, RTA form (Registration and Title Application) and check payable to the “RMV.” Costs should be: $75.00 for new MA title, $50.00 for plates and 6.25% sales tax.The Registry of Motor Vehicles charges an annual fee of $50.00 for antique plates. The also charge $50.00 for year of manufacture plates.


  • Classic Cars
  • Hot Rods
  • Antique Cars
  • Modified Cars
  • Street Rods
  • Exotic Cars
  • Lowrider
  • Classic Motorcycles


You can drive your car:

  • Holidays
  • Parades
  • Weekends

Your collectible car needs to be and must be stored inside in a secure locked garage or structure.

Insurance companies will not cover damage to antique vehicles done due to racing.