“Move Over” laws address two types of conditions that require motorists to move over and give the right of way to emergency responders. Under Maine’s statute, the law requires motorists approaching stationary emergency vehicles that are displaying flashing lights, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest, “if safe and possible to do so, or to slow to a safe and reasonable speed.” The law applies to law enforcement, first responders, emergency vehicles and tow trucks. A caveat to the tow truck application is that it only applies to trucks at an accident scene to assist emergency responders. In Maine, those who do not abide by the rule can face a minimum fine of $275.

Despite many public service campaigns, many people fail to realize the dangers of driving next to a stopped law enforcement officer or responder. According to the Maine Bureau of Highway safety, 19 officers in the country died in the first half of 2021 after being struck while on the side of the road. While the law was created in response to the growing concern for the safety of emergency responders, it affects all road users as these incidents can set off a chain reaction.

Recently, the Seacoastonline published an article describing an accident on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. According to the report, Maine State Troopers were assisting a bridge construction expert team set up a construction zone for a bridge project. An officer was in his vehicle, with his emergency lights flashing, when a Ford F-150 driver rear-ended him. Responders transported the officer to a local hospital, and the driver of the Ford and its occupants did not suffer injuries in the incident. Maine’s Department of Public Safety reiterated the importance of abiding by the state’s “Move Over” laws.

Maine is one of the least developed states on the eastern seaboard, and with our stunning natural environment and small population comes a less developed road infrastructure. Many rural Maine roads are only two lanes and are not divided. Because Maine has more narrow two-lane roads and highways than other more densely populated Eastern states, there is an increased danger of head-on collisions, which can be deadly. A recently published news report discusses a fatal head-on collision that occurred recently near Grand Isle.

According to the local news report, two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision earlier this month on Route 1 between Madawaska and Grand Isle. The driver of the larger vehicle, an SUV, was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries, however, the driver of the smaller sedan was killed in the crash. Although the news report does not discuss exactly how the accident occurred, it appears that one of the drivers passed into oncoming traffic and caused the collision. It is essential to road safety for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles and stay in their lane when traveling on small roads.

Driving a larger vehicle, like a truck or SUV, can help prevent a driver and their passengers from suffering serious injuries or death in the event of an accident. Larger vehicles do present an increased risk to other smaller vehicles on the road. Drivers of larger vehicles have a responsibility to other drivers to exercise extra care when traveling, as deadly accidents involving trucks and SUVs are tragically common in our region.

Last July, a fatal car accident claimed the life of a woman when another motorist attempted to get back into the correct after passing several other vehicles. However, as the passing motorist entered the lane, he clipped another vehicle, causing his vehicle to spin out of control and crash into the woman’s Chevy Trailblazer.

According to a recent news report, the sheriff’s department charged with looking into the fatal accident just concluded its investigation and passed the file off to the local district attorney’s office. The district attorney is now considering whether criminal charges should be filed against the driver responsible for the collision.

Additional Details About the Accident

Evidently, the fatal accident occurred when a westbound Subaru Outback attempted to pass several other vehicles while driving on Surry Road. However, as the driver of the Subaru merged back into his lane, he clipped the side of a Honda Civic, causing him to lose control of his vehicle, which then collided with a Chevy Trailblazer.

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A man who was driving a car that was involved in a fatal 2019 crash in Acadia National Park has pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter in connection with the accident. According to a local news report discussing the legal proceedings, the man had been traveling at around 75 mph on Park Loop Road when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed. The driver was injured in the accident and three passengers who were riding in the vehicle died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The road the man was driving on has a posted speed limit of 25 mph, and he was found to have a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit after the accident.

The man was charged with DUI as well as three counts of manslaughter in connection with the crash. The charges were in question after the man’s attorney successfully argued a motion to suppress the blood test evidence against him in his criminal case. After an appeal by the state of Maine reversed the earlier decision barring evidence, the man decided to plead guilty to the charges against him. As part of the sentencing and restitution process, the families of the victims of his crime may receive some compensation from the defendant for causing their deaths, however, restitution is often woefully insufficient to compensate crime victims and their families.

In addition to criminal restitution, the families of the victims of this crime are entitled to seek damages through a wrongful death claim against the driver of the vehicle. In a wrongful death claim against a negligent or reckless driver, the auto insurance company is required to cover their client’s liability up to the policy limits for liability coverage. Pursuing a civil case in addition to criminal charges is often the best way for crime victims to seek compensation for their losses. The procedural rules that govern a wrongful death claim are more friendly to plaintiffs than in criminal cases, and the types of damages that can be awarded are broader.

The truth is, an accident can occur on any road, at any time; however, certain roads pose a greater danger than others. Whether it is the way the road is designed, the position of street lights or traffic signals or the amount of traffic at certain times of the day, Maine drivers should be on the lookout for particularly dangerous roads.

According to a recent report, some of the most dangerous roads in Maine include:

  • Warren Avenue in Portland;

Many of us send our kids to school on the school bus every day and rely on these buses to transport our children safely to school and back. Unfortunately, sometimes a bus driver can exercise all of the due diligence and care in the world and external factors can still result in an accident. When the negligence of other drivers results in an injury, those who are responsible must be held accountable for their actions.

According to a recent local news report, a school bus accident left nine people injured, eight of which were children. Local authorities reported that 18 children were on the school bus when a white pick-up truck rear-ended the school bus. Eight children who were on the bus were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, as well as the passenger of the pick-up truck that rear-ended the bus. Police reported that the school bus was attempting to make a stop to pick up a child when it was hit by the truck. The accident remains under investigation.

In Maine, like in many other states, drivers could be ticketed if they do not stop when a school bus puts its stop sign and yellow flashing lights out. Among school bus drivers, other drivers remain their number one concern when it comes to ensuring the safety of the children they transport. Some drivers simply fail to stop and break the law, often because they are distracted while driving. When this takes place, bus drivers are encouraged to provide radio dispatch with a description of the vehicle and driver, the plate number, and the street and time that the incident happened, so that law enforcement can locate and ticket the driver. According to some school bus operators, there is sometimes as frequent as one violation per day in Maine.

According to the most recent data from the Maine Department of Transportation, the state has about 23,450 miles of public roadways; this is more miles per person than any other state in New England. While the state engages in various measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors, accidents continue to occur at alarming rates. Every year the state spends nearly 20% on measures to control ice and remove snow. Although deicing, plowing, improving traction, and promoting melting all reduce the likelihood of road hazards, winter weather can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Weather-related crashes can stem from sudden rainstorms, snow accumulation, black ice, and a host of other events that can impact roads. In these situations, accidents may involve single vehicles to chain-reaction pileups. Every year almost 6,000 people suffer fatal injuries in winter-related accidents. Unlike many other states where snow is a leading culprit, most New England accidents involve rain and slick roads. However, the most dangerous weather events generally involve rain, snow, freezing rain, slush, fog, and wind. When these forces combine, the results can be devastating.

For instance, Maine news reports described a tragic single-vehicle accident. According to reports, the 81-year-old driver lost control of his car, veered off the road, and slammed into a tree. An initial investigation revealed that inclement weather and improper tires likely contributed to the collision. Sadly, the man died at the scene of the accident.

New Year’s Eve is known as one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Motorists who aren’t usually out on the road find themselves driving back from late-night celebrations. Adding to the risks is the fact that a much higher rate of drivers than normal are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And while drivers must take special care when navigating the roads over any holiday weekend, this is especially the case when New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend as it did this year.

According to a local news report, one person was killed and another seriously injured in a head-on accident that occurred on New Year’s Eve. Evidently, a 39-year-old man was driving southbound near the Route 129/Route 130 split in Lincoln County. At some point, the driver crossed over the middle line, crashing into an oncoming motorist’s vehicle.

The driver of the struck vehicle, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The at-fault driver was wearing a seatbelt and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. There was also a young child in that vehicle, who was secured in a car seat. The child suffered minor injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

As with any holiday, accidents are more frequent when Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are taking place. In fact, behind Halloween, New Year’s Eve is often the most dangerous day of the year for drivers and pedestrians alike. Sometimes, however, traveling during the holidays is inevitable, whether it happens by foot or by car. Thus, Maine pedestrians and drivers alike should exercise caution this holiday, so that they can celebrate the end of 2021 and welcome 2022 safely.

According to a recent local news report, a woman was struck by a car while on a walk. Local authorities reported that the woman was walking against traffic with her six-year-old son when she was hit by a Subaru. Although the woman’s son was not hit or injured by the car, the woman was transported to a local hospital, where she later died. The driver of the Subaru was also taken to a separate hospital and treated for minor injuries. An investigation into the details of the accident is ongoing.

In 2019 alone, 6,205 pedestrians died from pedestrian accidents, and a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in traffic crashes. To best protect yourself and your loved ones while walking, these tips below will help you stay proactive about safety while celebrating the season.

Pedestrians have the right to use the state’s public walkways to travel and cross the road safely. However, every year thousands of Maine pedestrians suffer injuries because of negligent drivers. According to recent data by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Maine has experienced a rise in pedestrian fatalities. The rate of pedestrian deaths in the state tripled between 2018 and 2019.

Recently, a local news source reported on a Maine accident involving a pedestrian. According to the police, the investigation is in its initial phase. However, the incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. near Bangor, Maine. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries, and emergency responders rushed the pedestrian to a local hospital for treatment.

The inherent lack of protection between pedestrians and vehicles naturally makes these accidents and subsequent injuries more devastating than two-vehicle crashes. Many victims experience:

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