Maine is one region where the fatality counts from traffic accidents rose substantially from 2009 to 2010 despite the decrease in percentage for the rest of the country, according to the preliminary report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Our Bangor personal injury lawyers aren’t all that surprised considering the improvement in the economy. In fact, more people getting back to work will certainly mean the risk of car accidents in Bangor or Portland will increase due to the high volume of vehicles back on the roadways.
The U. . Department of Transportation recently announced that traffic fatalities in 2010 dropped to the lowest level since 1949. This would be pretty remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that it was really only the first 6 months of the year that showed a decrease. The first and second quarter (January through June) reported a 11.4% and 5% decrease respectively from 2009 to 2010. However, the third and fourth quarters showed an increase of almost 2% from 2009 to 2010 (during the months of July through December).
Region 1 located in the northeast part of the U. . — including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — experienced the biggest change, positive or negative, of any region in the U. . Traffic fatalities in 2009 were reported at 983 for this region but in 2010 they are estimated at 1,157 which is almost an 18% year-over-year increase.
The government wants to point to its efforts as the cause for the overall decrease of 3% in traffic fatalities for 2010. By promoting strong safety laws, vehicle safety programs, and public awareness, the government feels it’s on the right track to success.
“Last year’s drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference,” said U. . Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”
In 2009, LaHood imitated previous campaigns like “Over the Limit. Under Arrest” and Click It or Ticket” by launching a national anti-distracted driving campaign. Disctraction.gov. sSteps for improving vehicle safety with electronic stability control, forward collision and lane departure warning systems have also been taken to improve driver and passenger safety.
“The decrease in traffic fatalities is a good sign, but we are always working to save lives,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe as they can possibly be.”
The government can pat its back as much as it wants, but the reality is, fewer drivers have been on the roadways. The boost in the economy will likely lead to more traffic fatalities in 2011 than the 32,788 reported for 2010. Motorists are reminded that as traffic volume increases, it is best to be patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors in order to reduce the risk of a Maine car accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Portland or Bangor, contact Peter Thompson & Associates for legal advice about your rights. For a free consultation, call 1-800-804-2004.