Maine Sees Lowest Number of Roadway Fatalities Since 2014

Portland, Maine, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

For the first time since 2014, car accident fatalities went down last year in Maine, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety. Even so, state officials noted that there were still a large number of car accident deaths last year and that public safety needs to continue to be a top priority.

“Though this is a vast improvement over the prior several years, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety recognizes that there is still plenty of work to be done because one life lost is one too many,” Lauren Stewart, the bureau’s director, said in a recent interview with Spectrum News.

Maine car accident fatalities decreased in 2023

Last year, there were 134 car accident fatalities in Maine, according to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, per Spectrum News. That figure is the lowest annual total since 2014 when there were 131 car accident deaths in Maine.

To put such numbers in perspective, there were 177 car accident fatalities in Maine in 2022, which was the second highest death toll since 2007, when 183 people died in motor vehicle accidents in Maine, according to a Portland Press Herald article.

In addition, the last time Maine recorded less than 131 car accident fatalities before 2014 was 1944, according to Spectrum News.

Common causes of Maine car accidents

There are many reasons why serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents happen in Maine. Officials from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety noted that only 77.5 percent of motorists at night were observed wearing their seat belts.

That is “the lowest observed rate in 12 years,” according to the bureau, per Spectrum News. In addition, 60 percent of car accident fatalities in Maine last year involved motorists not wearing their seatbelts.

Drinking and driving has historically been a serious problem in Maine. For example, between 2012 and 2021, 37 to 63 people died each year due to collisions caused by impaired drivers in Maine, according to car accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Speeding is another common cause of collisions in Maine. During the same 10-year period, anywhere from 26 to 78 car accident fatalities occurred in a single year in Maine between 2012 and 2021, according to NHTSA data.

What is Maine doing to prevent car accidents?

Maine officials have taken a proactive approach toward reducing the number of car accidents in the state. According to recent social media posts by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, this means educating drivers about the dangers of some of the most common causes of collisions, including:

  • Drinking and driving, especially during the recent Super Bowl, when Maine officials encouraged drivers to “have a game plan” and not drive drunk after the Super Bowl.
  • Drowsy driving, which is why Maine officials recently encouraged drivers to “take a break, drive awake” rather than trying to drive while tired.
  • Move over if a vehicle is parked in the breakdown lane, especially on a highway like I-95 in Maine.
  • Be prepared for harsh winter weather driving, which means making sure your tires have enough tread to handle snow and other inclement weather.
  • Distracted driving, especially texting, is why Maine officials encourage drivers to put their cellphones on “do not disturb” mode while driving.

Efforts to enhance road safety are further bolstered by initiatives like the annual Arrive Alive Creative Contest, sponsored by the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. This contest empowers high school seniors to creatively explore the importance of safe driving, encouraging them to produce original projects that highlight the dangers of reckless and distracted driving.

Car accident lawyers fighting and winning for injured Mainers

If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash involving negligence, an experienced Maine car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein can help you navigate the aftermath.

Our highly skilled legal team knows how to deal with insurance companies and aggressively advocate for the financial compensation our clients deserve. That’s why we consistently obtain substantial settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families.

Get the law firm that knows how to fight for injured Mainers. Contact us today and schedule a free case evaluation.

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