Road Tripping: New technology could reduce risk of Maine car accidents

The option of mapping the safest route could soon be available for road trippers. Our Maine personal injury lawyers think this could be ideal for tourists visiting the state or just passing through as well as Maine residents making a summer trip down the coast, or into New York or elsewhere.

Unfamiliar roadways can enhance the risk of a car accident in Portland, Bangor, or elsewhere in the state. Innocent motorists are involved in car accidents too frequently when a driver gets distracted from reading a map, asking for directions, or adjusting the GPS.USA Today recently reported that AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working on a pilot program to map the safest roads in eight states which include: New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Iowa, Utah, Florida and New Mexico.

The program is expected to take two to three years to implement but would allow motorists to map the nation’s deadliest and safest roadways based on which roads have the highest rates of serious injuries and traffic fatalities. Users will log onto a site, input city to city where they want to go, and be given the safest route. It is a similar process to how they can be given the shortest route now on certain map websites. More states will be added later this year.

Public interest was one driving force behind the new technology. The foundation surveyed 2,141 drivers in 2009. The response was overwhelming at 73% when asked if motorists would consider using data to determine which route would likely get them to their destination safely. Most agreed they would use the site, especially in unfamiliar areas where they don’t normally travel. Local and state officials would also find the information helpful in determining safety of their roads.

Motorists are reminded of the following safety tips when planning or taking a road trip:

-Before you depart, take your vehicle to a mechanic for a tune-up to make sure it is working in top condition.

-Plan your ideal route ahead of time. You may need to stray from your original plans so have plenty of roadmaps available in the car, especially if no GPS unit is available.

-Once you have determined your route, plan several breaks at designated rest areas or exit ramps.

-Allow extra travel time as you are bound to run into snags and delays due to construction areas and accidents.

-Only put the vehicle in drive once you know everyone and everything is secured by seat belts and straps.

-Drive in comfort. Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for driving on long trips.

-If your road trip involves toll bridges or roadways, have a passenger hand you the money or have it in a convenient location to grab with little distraction from driving.

-Adjust your seat, mirrors, air conditioner, or radio before you put the car in drive.

-Obey all traffic laws and signs on roadways. They were put there for a reason. Follow the posted speed limit, don’t pass on double yellow lines, or merge only when it is safe are a few examples.

-Keep an eye out for aggressive motorists, distracted drivers, or worse yet, drivers driving under the influence. They do exist and drivers need to use extra caution when sharing the roadways with them.

-If you become drowsy, stop for a break, stretch your legs, and allow someone else to drive if that is a viable option.

-Be flexible and patient in emergency situations. Things happen so you need to deal with them accordingly.

Contact the personal injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates if you have been injured in a Maine car accident. Voted best personal injury lawyer in Maine, contact our office in Portland or Bangor for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-804-2004

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