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Cheap Car Insurance in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Find cheap car insurance in New Bedford, a major city in Massachusetts’ South Coast region. Part of Bristol County, the city was named for English aristocrats, but since Bedford, Mass. had already been established, the town was named New Bedford when it officially incorporated in 1878. New Bedford was nicknamed the Whaling City in the 1900s. In fact, “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville worked in New Bedford as a whaler, publishing his famous novel in 1851 using the city as the story’s initial setting. The Whaling City Festival still takes place annually and the New Bedford Whaling Museum lies within the city’s Whaling District National Historical Park. Today, commercial fishing and manufacturing are among the largest economic drivers, along with healthcare. The population of New Bedford was estimated at 95,032 in 2016.

Driving Conditions in New Bedford

Interstate 195 bisects New Bedford east to west, intersecting with MA Route 140, known as the Alfred M. Bessette Memorial Highway, which terminates in New Bedford. MA Route 18 is an extension of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway. It takes traffic through downtown and connects I-195 to nearby U.S. 6 and the port. Many New Bedford residents commute daily to Boston, which is an hour each way barring accidents or congestion. About 74 percent of commuters drive to work along, according to Census Bureau data, and more than 16 percent carpool. The average commute time for New Bedford is just under 24 minutes, about two minutes shorter than the national average. For traffic maps and updates on accidents and construction and to learn about commuting options, visit

Unique Laws in New Bedford

In New Bedford, City ordinances prohibit carrying a knife with a blade more than 2 1/2 inches long. Parking tickets will be issued for the usual infractions, including parking within 10 feet of a crosswalk, five feet of a driveway, more than six inches from a curb or facing the wrong direction.

Massachusetts is one of a handful of states where it is illegal for any vehicle to use hazard lights while moving. Other states allow it in emergency situations or to indicate a hazard such as heavy rain, while some allow hazard light use at any time.

Since Massachusetts is one of the original 13 colonies, there are plenty of antiquated laws still on the books and many that are just plain odd. For example, Massachusetts laws prevent eating more than three sandwiches at a wake, scaring pigeons, wearing a goatee in public or spitting on the sidewalk. Thankfully, it is illegal for children to buy their own cigarettes.

New Bedford Crime Statistics

Data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 2016 states there were 819 violent crimes in New Bedford, three of which were murder or manslaughter. The local violent crime rate of 866 offenses per 100,000 residents is significantly above the national average of 386 offenses per 100,000 people.

The property crime rate in New Bedford the same year was 3,093 offenses per 100,000 residents, also above the U.S. average of 2,451 incidents per 100,000 residents. Within the city, 274 vehicles were stolen in 2016, FBI data shows, a rate of 289 incidents per 100,000 residents. The national average is 236 incidents per 100,000 people.

New Bedford safety requirements

In Massachusetts, children must ride in a safety seat or booster under they are 8 years old or 57 inches tall. Everyone in the car must wear a seat belt, but seat belt laws in Massachusetts are “secondary,” meaning you can’t get pulled over and ticketed just for not wearing one. Texting while driving and more recently talking on the phone without a hands-free device is illegal.

New Bedford impaired driving laws

Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher are charged with OUI, or operating under the influence, as it is called in Massachusetts. For minors under 21, that BAC drops to .02. Not that to make an arrest, police don’t need to wait for you to put your car in gear. First offenders get a 180-day license suspension, but there is no minimum jail term required. Ignition interlock devices are required for all drivers who are convicted of a second OUI offense. Regardless of your background or circumstances, it’s not impossible to find cheap car insurance in New Bedford, Mass.; contact us for comparisons and more information.

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Dig you know

Swapping your high heels for a pair of driving shoes can help you qualify for affordable car insurance by avoiding accidents and getting "safer driver" discounts.

Safety Tip

It's easier to get discounted car insurance with a car that has a high safety rating than one without one.

Savings Tip

When you are looking for car insurance, ask if the insurance company offers a policy where they forgive the first accident.

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