Earlier today, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety released a shocking figure - the unofficial number of highway deaths in Maine in 2022 stands at 177.

According to the KJ, that makes 2022 the deadliest year on Maine's highways in nearly two decades.

In 2007, the death toll on Maine's highways was 183.

According to a fact book on the Maine.gov website, 188 people died on Maine's highways in 2006.  And, the deadliest year in recent history was in 2003, when 204 people died on Maine highways.  You can find data as recent as 2020 HERE


What has caused the uptick in fatalities?

Believe it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic had a lot to do with it.  You probably thought that, because people were working from home, not going to school / college in-person, and were not involved in a great number of social activities, that the fatality rate would drop.  However, this was not the case.

According to the KJ, Lauren Stewart, director of the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, at least partially blames the pandemic for the increase.  Apparently, because there were fewer people on the roads, people became more prone to engage in bad behavior.  Speeding, reckless driving, etc.  And now, as the amount of traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, some people have continued to exhibit this bad behavior.  This has led to the increase in fatalities we are now seeing.

Additionally, according to the news article, about half of drivers engaged in risky behavior are not wearing a seat belt.  On top of that, about a third are under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol.

What can you do to avoid becoming a statistic?

  • -Wear your seat belt properly
  • -Drive the appropriate speed
  • -Slow down even further in inclement weather
  • -NEVER drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Please be safe on our roads.  Let's make 2023 a lot less deadly!


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