Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases comprehensive data on traffic fatalities and car accidents in Maine that have occurred over the last five years. Because the data is so wide-ranging, it takes a couple of years to compile, so the NHTSA has recently released Maine’s traffic safety numbers for 2014, and compared them to numbers from the past 10 years.
The traffic safety results show some positive improvement for traffic safety in the state, with traffic fatalities generally trending downward since 2005. In 2006 there were 188 traffic deaths in the state; in 2014 there were 131.
Other notable data from the report show:
- The rate of vehicle fatalities was at or below the national average.
- The rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities was at or below the national average.
- If 100% of Maine’s population used seat belts, it could save 20-30 lives a year.
- The majority of vehicle crashes in 2014 involved more than one vehicle.
- Maine has had 83 deaths from motorcycle crashes in the past five years.
While the report is largely optimistic, it’s clear that auto accidents remain a major problem for the roads of Maine in particular and the United States in general. According to the report, the total cost of motor vehicle crashes in the United States totaled $242 billion. If you are in an accident, your insurance company or the other driver may try to stick you with costs that you are not liable for.