The year 2022 is just behind us. We don’t yet know everything that happened on Maine’s highways as far as car accidents are concerned. But if the preliminary data is close to reality, 2022 was one of the worst years for traffic safety this century.
According to WGME-TV, authorities have counted 177 fatalities in highway car wrecks in 2022. That would make last year the deadliest on Maine’s highways since 2007, when 183 died from injuries sustained in highway crashes. And the grim total could rise as state officials complete their research.
What was behind this surge in fatalities?
The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety says that speeding and aggressive driving were the two most common causes of fatal accidents. The faster a driver goes, the less time they have to react to events like a braking vehicle in front of them or another motorist changing lanes into their path. Speed limits are there for a reason. Someone who speeds excessively, especially on the highway, puts everyone around them at risk of severe injury and death.
The same is true of overly aggressive driving techniques like tailgating, cutting off other vehicles and swerving in and out of lanes. This unnecessary and totally preventable behavior can greatly increase the chances of a major collision.
Compensation for another person’s negligence
In Maine, dangerous conduct like speeding and aggressive driving makes a motorist responsible for any harm they cause other people in a resulting car accident. Even though most people survive car crashes, they are often left with thousands of dollars’ worth of damages, if not more. Victims have the right to pursue compensation from the liable driver (and their auto insurance company) for things like medical bills, lost wages while unable to work, damage to their vehicle, and pain and suffering.