Recently, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists Association and MADD revealed that Maine drivers are among the safest drivers in the United States. Although this is encouraging news, our former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap made a good point: “When you speak with a family of someone who’s been lost in a car crash, that’s a pretty helpless feeling.” At Briggs & Wholey, our attorneys see the aftermath of tragic car accidents every day. Dunlap notes (and we agree) that there’s always room to do better.
According to Dunlap, there are a number of programs that have helped Maine become such a safe state for drivers. Among other things, we have strong driver education and diligent efforts by law enforcement agencies. For example, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety meets with students to work on projects to help improve the driving performance of those who hold learner’s permits.
Maine also puts money into drunk driving enforcement programs. This includes special funds for roadblocks and patrols to ensure impaired drivers are kept off the road. It also includes more reliable testing equipment across the state to measure blood alcohol content. Police officers are trained to evaluate whether drivers are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, too.
Recently, driving data was collected from all fifty states and D.C. and scored. Scoring occurred in 5 categories: the number of traffic fatalities per 100 million miles driven, failure to obey, careless driving, tickets, and drunk driving. Maine ranked 19th for the number of traffic fatalities. Maine ranked 6th for careless driving. Maine ranked 4th for the likelihood of being issued a ticket. Maine ranked 29th for drunk driving.
Each state received a total score and the higher the number of the score, the higher the safety was. Maine ranked at 46 out of 51. The other best states for safe driving were Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Oregon.
In spite of its excellent record, in 2010, Maine had 144 fatal car crashes which resulted in 161 fatalities. 23% of these fatalities involved drunk driving. 95 of the deaths were of drivers. A majority of the drivers were driving passenger cars and lights trucks. However, 34 passengers were killed. 19 motorcyclists and 12 pedestrians were killed. 1 pedalcyclist was included in the list of fatalities.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a Maine car accident due to another driver’s negligence or other wrongful conduct, you may be under overwhelming financial stress. Medical bills may be pouring in. Instead of resting and recovering, you may be trying to figure out whether there are any corners you can cut so that you can get the treatment you need. There may be legal recourse.
Two common causes of action in Maine personal injury lawsuits involving car accidents are negligence and wrongful death. A skillful Maine personal injury attorney can help build your case. Some cases are straightforward. Others require testimony from experts such as medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, vocational rehabilitation experts and expert economists.
If you or a loved one is hurt by a driver’s negligence, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to help recover the compensation you deserve. At Briggs & Wholey, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced advocate, please contact Briggs & Wholey, LLC at (888) 596-1099 or through our website today.
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