Driving through Maine's winter season increases your accident risks.
It's dangerous out there with all of the snow and ice. It's especially important to talk with our younger drivers about these risks. And don't forget to take your own advice parents!
Our Maine personal injury lawyers understand that drivers age 16 and 17 are involved in close to 10 percent more winter accidents than their share of accidents for all road conditions. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 also have a higher number of accidents in these conditions, but not as many as the 16- and 17-year-olds.
These accidents are also more common on urban roadways. Drivers between the ages of 65 and 74 might be the best off out there -- though that's likely because they avoid driving in bad weather whenever possible. They're involved in a smaller share of winter car accidents than their share of accidents in all road conditions. Regardless, everyone is at risks for an accident when the weather turns bad. Be careful, cautious and prepared out there!
The number of winter driving accidents in Maine has remained constant over the last 20 years, even as the overall number of accidents has declined. And the worse the winter, the more fatal accident occur.
According to the Maine Chapter American Public Works Association, temperatures below 25 degrees with a daily snowfall greater than one inch contribute to more than 125 additional crashes beyond the "average" of about 82.
Maine may see it's snowiest month in January, but statistically speaking there are more winter-related accidents in the month of December than during any other month out of the year.
According to the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), speed is a top cause of these winter accidents. Drivers need to slow it down. Stopping on snow and ice requires more time and more distance.
Drivers also need to remember to leave plenty of room to do their job safely and effectively. Drivers need to stay away and avoid following these vehicles too closely. These snow plow operators are dealing with a limited field of vision while plowing.
Before you head out this winter season, check out the road and weather conditions by visit 511Maine.gov. These reports are provided to you by Maine state troopers and transportation plow operators.
Winter Driving Tips from the Maine Department of Transportation:
-Whenever there's snow or ice near our roadways, take it slow. It's okay to travel under the speed limit in these conditions.
-Never turn your four-wheel drive into an "off-road" vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive may help to increase your acceleration (while putting you at risks for skidding), but it's not going to do much when you're trying to stop.
-Refrain from using your cruise control during winter weather driving conditions.
-Be sure to brake early, to brake slowly and to brake correctly. You never want to slam on your brakes when the roads are slick.
-Stay alert and keep all of your attention on the task at hand -- driving!
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a car accident, contact us at 1-800-490-5218 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Maine Texting Tickets and Your Auto Insurance, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, November 8, 2012
Maine Injury Attorneys Know Accident Risks Come with Early Dark, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2012