November is commonly known as a dangerous month for drivers in Maine, as people are getting accustomed to driving in winter conditions again. The long weekend including the Thanksgiving holiday can be especially dangerous, as many travelers are commuting long distances to see family on what may be unfamiliar roads. Winter ice conditions contributed to a tragic chain of accidents along Interstate 95 on a bridge near Waterville. According to a local news report discussing the crashes, accidents occurred on both northbound and southbound lanes and resulted in at least one death.
According to the news report, the Messalonskee bridge in Waterville became covered in ice on the Friday following Thanksgiving as a result of the cold, wet conditions. Several cars slipped off the road on or near the bridge, and traffic was restricted for both directions of travel. A 59-year-old nurse from Madison stopped to render aid to an incapacitated vehicle near the bridge. As the good samaritan was outside of her vehicle attempting to render aid, the driver of a large pickup truck with a trailer lost control of his vehicle and struck the woman. Paramedics quickly responded to the crash, however they were unable to save the woman’s life and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bridges, overpasses, onramps, and offramps are the most dangerous areas for icy road conditions on Maine highways and interstates. The roadway is not insulated by the earth below as in other areas, and the road surface on bridges and other elevated road features is colder than the surrounding roads. Because of this, bridges will always freeze before the rest of the road. Maine drivers approaching a bridge or other elevated roadway must use caution and control their speed on the approach, even when the road appears dry. A driver who fails to safely control their vehicle in the face of winter driving conditions can be held civilly, or even criminally responsible for the effects of a crash.
In the event of a crash, it may be tempting to stop and render aid to a motorist who appears to be injured or is at risk. Sometimes rendering aid may be appropriate, but Maine drivers should understand that the conditions causing the accident they see likely still exist, and stopping near an existing accident can be extremely dangerous. A driver who is injured by another negligent driver while attempting to render aid to an existing accident may have their recovery reduced if a court determines that the act of stopping to help was negligent in itself. Because of this, good samaritans should always consider their own safety first when deciding if and how to stop and help.
Finding a Qualified Maine Accident Attorney After a Crash
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Maine auto accident, an experienced Maine car accident attorney can help you seek compensation for your loss. Even if the accident is partially your fault, you are still likely entitled to recovery from the other drivers involved and your own auto insurance company. The dedicated personal injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates understand how to get results for our clients, and we have the results to prove it. If you or a loved one has been in a crash, reach out and see how we can help. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a Maine personal injury attorney, call us today at 1-800-804-2004.