Personal Injury Lawyers • Portland and Waterville, ME

Maine Ramps Up Efforts for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Young man texting while driving a car on the highway.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Maine is stepping up its efforts to tackle this issue that affects countless lives every day. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous because it diverts a driver's attention away from the road, impairing their ability to maneuver a vehicle safely.

Each year, around 3,000 lives are lost due to car accidents caused by distracted driving, constituting 8% to 9% of all fatal motor vehicle collisions nationwide. While taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel for a short time might not seem like a big deal to some drivers, a split-second distraction can be the difference between a safe trip and a devastating car accident.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving occurs when something takes your attention away from the task of driving. It's like trying to multitask, but the stakes are much higher when you're behind the wheel and your margin for error is so small. There are three different types of distractions, including manual, visual, and cognitive:

  • Visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road. It's like trying to drive with your eyes closed, meaning you might miss the car in front of you suddenly coming to a stop or fail to notice a pedestrian trying to cross the road. Common examples include looking down at your phone to read or send a text, looking at your navigation system, or glancing at something on the side of the road (e.g., rubbernecking).
  • Manual distractions occur when you take your hands off the wheel. If both of your hands are not on the steering wheel, you're not fully in control of the vehicle and are at risk of causing an accident. Examples of manual distractions include eating, drinking, or holding a cell phone.
  • Cognitive distractions occur when your mind wanders away from the task of driving and your focus isn't where it should be. Examples include daydreaming or becoming lost in thought.

Distracted driving in Maine

Texting and driving is illegal in Maine, including using your phone at a stop sign or red light. Despite these strict laws, distracted driving still affects communities across the state.

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who is in charge of the Bureau of Maine Vehicles, told Fox Bangor that there were 11 fatal distracted driving accidents in the state last year and over 1,000 that resulted in injuries or property damage. To prevent such accidents, the state plans to increase enforcement efforts.

Contact a Maine distracted driving accident lawyer today

Distracted driving is preventable, but that doesn't stop some drivers from doing it anyway. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver in Maine, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.

At Jabar LaLiberty, LLC, our attorneys are dedicated to holding distracted drivers accountable. We investigate and gather evidence to advocate for the maximum compensation our clients deserve. Our law firm also works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Portland or Waterville.

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