In Maine recently, a 10-vehicle accident resulted in Route 1 being shut down for several hours. The accident, reported by Press Herald, took place when a dump truck overturned. The local police chief called the pileup accident "the largest accident his department has responded to in years." The crash was under investigation by the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Division.
While the accident may have been the largest the local police chief had responded to in a long while, it was far from the only accident that happened in Maine over the course of this year. In fact, troubling preliminary data from 2016 suggests there has been a dramatic rise in car accident fatalities during the first half of 2016.
Rise in Car Accident Deaths in 2016
Wall Street Journal reported on the troubling rise in car accident fatalities occurring from January to June of this year. There was a 10.6 percent rise in fatalities occurring in auto accidents during this time period in 2016, as compared with the fatality numbers during the same time in 2015. There were 17,775 people killed in the first six months, and experts suggest the second half of the year will actually be even more dangerous on the roads because of bad winter weather throughout much of the United States.
It is always really worrisome when there are 10.6 percent more people dying in auto accidents. However, the news is especially disturbing because it is the second year in a row there has been a rising number of auto accident deaths. Between 2014 and 2015, there was also a 7.2 percent rise in car accident fatalities and as many as 36,092 lost their lives in car accidents over the course of the 2015 year.
If trends continue and worsen this year, the total number of car accident deaths in 2016 could break 40,000, which would mean a record number of deaths could happen. The increase in auto accident fatalities is so great, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSHA) professionals have referred to the rise in the number of people dying in car accidents as a "crisis" and has urged "swift action" to try to reverse the trend of rising fatalities.
There are myriad proposed theories for why traffic fatalities are going up so much. One issue is there was a 3.3 percent rise in the number of vehicle miles driven across the country. Another issue is a substantial number of motorists who make the choice to drive while they are distracted. NHTSA warns around 660,000 drivers nationwide are on their phone at any given daylight hour. Driving with a focus on anything other than on the road can be very dangerous and a motorist who does not pay attention could become responsible for a crash.
You don't have to be one of the motorists on your phone, especially as the risks of an accident in 2016 are so great and you or someone you love could be hurt. Make the smart choice and avoid distraction.
Stay Safe - Arrive Alive!
Each year communities in Maine are devastated by tragic accidents, often involving teenagers. At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we see firsthand the results of these horrific accidents.
In an attempt to put an end to teenage drinking and driving and teenage distracted driving, our law firm created the Arrive Alive Creative Contest.
The contest is open to graduating high school seniors throughout Maine who may enter by submitting a creative project that sends a message to their peers about the dangers of drinking and driving and/or distracted driving. First-place winners receive a new laptop computer, second and third-place winners receive a new iPad, and everyone who enters the contest wins fun prizes from our law firm.
For a complete set of rules and to view all past winning entries, please visit: www.arrivealivecreativecontest.com.