Seat belts are a crucial part of ensuring your safety while driving in Maine, whether you’re the driver or just a passenger. Unfortunately, despite how common and easy it is to buckle up, thousands of people every year are still involved in car accidents that result in tragic fatalities or significant injuries that were avoidable had they worn a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 37,133 people who died in car accidents in 2017, 47% of them were not wearing seat belts. Based on this data, 14,955 lives were saved because of seat belt use, and 2,549 could have been saved had they buckled up.
Based on a recent news report, a local head-on collision left one woman dead and two men in the hospital. According to local authorities, their initial investigation showed that the woman was driving her vehicle when she collided in her travel lane with a man headed in the opposite direction. The woman died on impact, and her son, who was in the vehicle with his mother during the accident, was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for wrist and rib injuries. The man in the other vehicle was airlifted to a local hospital, where the local police report that he is in critical condition. Following the accident, both vehicles were demolished. Authorities say that the man involved in the accident was not wearing a seat belt, but the deceased woman and her son were. The crash remains under investigation and is being forensically mapped out by local law enforcement as they attempt to determine the cause of the collision.
Like other states, Maine has specific laws about safety restraints and seat belts. For adults, when the person driving the vehicle is 18 years of age or older and operating a car required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to have seat belts within the vehicle, the driver and passengers must be wearing seat belts. If this law is violated, drivers can be fined up to $50 for the first offense, $125 for the second offense, and $250 for any future offenses that may add up. Based on local laws, if seat belt laws are violated, a vehicle and its contents can be searched along with its driver and passengers. However, an accident victim’s failure to wear a seat belt will not impact their ability to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Maine laws also require that all children be correctly secured in a child safety seat or car seat when they are passengers in a vehicle. The safest seats for your child is one that fits your vehicle properly, is used correctly and secured accurately, and is made for your child’s weight and height.
Do You Need a Maine Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or someone you know has been recently involved in a Maine car accident, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. Our team of dedicated lawyers has years of experience representing clients in a variety of personal injury claims. We are experienced in what we do and will tirelessly advocate on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you and your loved ones deserve. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 1.800.804.2004 to speak to a member of our team about your claim.