2013 is the Year to Resolve to Become a Safer Driver

With the New Years Eve festivities now fading into the past, you may be making steady progress on the resolution you’ve set for yourself for 2013. Whether you are on the path to self-improvement or have hit a stumbling block. Either way, we think it may be time to add one more resolution to your list.

Our Portland auto accident attorneys urge you to resolve to become a better, safer driver in 2013. We believe this is a resolution everyone should make and everyone should commit to keeping in order to reduce the risk of car accidents in Maine. Auto accidents can cause death, injury and devastation and preventable accidents should never happen since, by definition, they can be prevented. If you and everyone you know resolves to drive a little better and do a little better this year, maybe the accident rate can go down and more people can avoid the unpleasant reality of an auto accident.

Tips for Keeping Your Resolution
Making a New Years resolution is one thing, and keeping it is quite another. Fortunately, if you set very specific goals for fulfilling your resolution and break your resolution down into manageable parts, you’ll have a better chance of keeping the resolution.

So, to get you started here are some things you should resolve to do to become a better driver in 2013:

  • Wear your seat belt whenever you are in the car and make your passengers wear their seatbelt too. According to the Annual report prepared by the Maine Department of Public Safety, almost 43 percent of people killed in fatal accidents involving passenger vehicles weren’t wearing their seatbelts. A total of 41 people out of the 123 who were killed did not have their belt on at the time of the accident.
  • Learn to buckle your young children into their safety seats properly. The Maine Department of Public Safety cited national studies indicating that at least 73 percent of child restraint systems were misused and that 41 percent of booster seats were misused. There are car seat inspection events throughout the state and you can generally contact your local police department who will review your car seat use with you to make sure that you aren’t accidentally putting your child’s life in danger.
  • Talk to your teens about safe driving. Maine DPS indicates that 32 percent of Maine traffic deaths involve younger drivers, with 11 percent coming from the 16-18 age group. In 2011, there were 22 youths who died in Maine auto accidents.
  • Don’t drive if you’ve had a few drinks. In 2010, there were 38 alcohol-related fatal accidents. Maine has slightly fewer than the national average in auto accident involving alcohol when compared to nationwide data, but even one DUI-death is too many.

Of course, you should always skip other dangerous behaviors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, driving while you are too tired, speeding, failing to yield and backing up without checking to make sure all is clear. However, even if you just get started with the very simple steps of properly buckling in, talking to your kids and staying sober, you can make a big difference in reducing the risk of car accidents in Maine.

If you are the victim of a Portland driving accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.

Additional Resources:
NHTSA Touts Decrease in Traffic Fatalities as a Win, But Are We Really any Safer? Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, December 31, 2012.

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