Maine has seen an improvement in traffic safety. In 2018, there were 140 traffic fatalities statewide, according to Portland Press Herald. This marked a significant drop from 2017, which saw 173 deaths.
What’s causing the reduction in traffic fatalities?
Since speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and impaired driving are still prevalent, the specific reason for this drop in traffic fatalities remains a mystery. The Portland Press Herald cites emerging safety features in new vehicles as one possible factor. These features are designed to mitigate the risk of being involved in a serious accident, allowing some crash victims to survive with non- life-threatening injuries.
Many new safety features making headway in the automobile market include:
- Adaptive cruise control: Uses sensors to maintain a safe following distance and prevent collisions.
- Automatic emergency braking: Senses a potential collision and activates the brakes.
- Lane departure warning and lane keep: Prevents drivers from veering off the road or into another lane.
- Blind spot detection: Warns drivers of another vehicle in their blind spot.
- Rear-view cameras: Gives drivers a full view of what’s behind them when backing up.
State officials take action to reduce pedestrian deaths
In 2018, state officials began tackling pedestrian safety after experiencing 21 pedestrian deaths in 2017. The campaign, coined “Heads Up,” was aimed to heighten awareness among Maine road users, with one part emphasizing winter pedestrian safety. As a result, 2018 saw fewer pedestrian deaths.
One hazardous problem faced by many Maine pedestrians is the lack of sidewalks on rural roads. While pedestrians are urged to face oncoming traffic when a sidewalk isn’t available, accidents can still easily happen – especially at night or during conditions of poor visibility.
Despite a drop in fatalities, injuries are still likely
Fewer deaths on Maine roadways is a monumental sign of better road safety, but that doesn’t mean that drivers and pedestrians aren’t still sustaining serious injuries.
According to Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, distracted driving is still putting road users in harm's way.
“When there is a reduction in fatal crashes, it is a wonderful thing,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we still don’t have a big distraction problem that we need to address. People are doing it every day. Some days they’re crashing. On others, they’re getting away with it.”
If someone else’s reckless behavior caused your crash, you need an experienced Maine auto accident attorney in your corner. For decades, the legal team at The Law Offices of Joseph L. Bornstein has successfully helped injured motorists and pedestrians recover medical expenses, lost wages, and losses from pain and suffering.
Your case matters to us. Contact us today to find out how we can help.