Stormy Weather Poses Severe Risks for Maine Car Accidents During Thanksgiving Day Travel

An expected snow storm coming in Wednesday is sure to make Thanksgiving holiday travel throughout the Northeast a nightmare this weekend. The Portland Daily Sun reports that northern Maine could see up to 6 inches of snow if the storm develops as predicted and may cause traffic to come to a screeching halt on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Maine motorists traveling to see family for Thanksgiving are reminded to travel safely in order to avoid a car accident in Portland, Bangor or elsewhere.
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American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that Thanksgiving weekend travel is expected to increase by 4 percent nationwide from last year. Despite the high gas prices, almost 50 cents higher when compared to last year, most families will be traveling in favor of automobile as opposed to airline. Airfares have risen sharply so traveling by car makes sense to most Americans wanting to spend time with family without draining the family budget.

Roughly 90 percent or 38.2 million holiday travelers nationwide will be taking to the roadways this weekend. Maine car accident attorneys realize that travelers in the Northeast must be prepared and patient if they want to get to their destination safely. Not only will traffic congestion be peaked but the stormy weather will make driving a challenge and slow the process of getting to loved ones in time for Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Holiday travel under normal circumstances comes with a certain amount of risks. The National Safety Council expects that 43,400 people will be injured and another 434 will die in traffic-related accidents during the 2011 Thanksgiving Day holiday period. The holiday period begins at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Projections like these are made without weather being a factor which makes it all the more important for motorists to use extra caution.

From 2004 to 2009, the average number of traffic fatalities reported during the Thanksgiving Day holiday period was 535. The high during that period was in 2006 with 623 reported traffic deaths. Though the total for 2009 was significantly lower than in recent previous years, it doesn’t indicate that motorists are risk free especially since the number of travelers has been lower the last few years.

The Maine Department of Transportation wants everyone to reach their destination safely this holiday weekend. The department offers these winter and holiday travel trips to motorists:

-Check the winter storm forecast before you leave so you can know what to expect throughout your travel. If the heart of the storm is hitting during your anticipated travel time, stay home and call loved ones on the phone instead.

-Expect delays on major roadways throughout the weekend, not just during inclement weather.

-Slow down. Motorists tend to speed to avoid being late but aggressive driving leads to a high risk of injury in an accident.

-It is better to be safe than sorry so don’t take risky chances.

-If snow trucks or emergency vehicles are out on roadways, move over and give them plenty of space to work.

The Maine car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. If you or a loved one are seriously or fatally injured in a car accident in Bangor, Portland or throughout Maine, call for a free consultation to discuss the details surrounding your case. Call 1-800-917-1784 to speak with an attorney today.

Additional Resources:
Winter storm bears down on Maine, by David Carkhuff, The Portland Daily Sun.

AAA Projects 42.5 Million Americans Will Travel This Thanksgiving, Four Percent More Than Last Year, by Cynthia Brough, AAA News Room.

More Blog Entries:
Maine’s First Taste of Winter Weather Boosts Car Accidents in Bangor, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2011.

Holiday Driving Safety, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, December 20, 2010.

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