Maine law enforcement agencies say these are the 100 deadliest days of summer on the state's roadways.

Why Is This Such a Dangerous Time to Drive?

According to the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, a variety of factors combine to make the span of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day the deadliest for driving. Obviously, one of the factors is the sharp increase in traffic with the arrival of tourists during the summer, most of whom are not familiar with the area. In addition, teens are out of school and working summer jobs, putting more young drivers on the roads. Those same teens will also spend part of the summer hanging out with friends and driving with others in their vehicles, causing potential distractions.

This seems especially valid this year, as vehicular fatalities are up. As of June 6th, 61 people have died as a result of traffic accidents this year. That compares to a total of 49 fatalities in 2021, 56 in 2020, and 54 in 2019.

How Can We Survive the Drive?

Staying safe during this busy time is a community effort, with everyone working together to protect themselves and others from injuries. The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is offering some suggestions through their initiative called Survive the Drive:

  • Eliminate distractions, especially cell phones.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Slow down.
  • Always wear your seatbelt and require others to do the same in your vehicle.
  • Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, giving them plenty of room when passing.
  • Check twice for motorcycles when pulling out into an intersection.
  • Use your blinkers.
  • Never drive when impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Lauren Stewart, with the Maine Department of Highway Safety, says if everyone followed these tips, it would be a much safer summer.

When you're behind the wheel, Just Drive!

Between 2019 and 2021, there were 163 fatal crashes in Maine, that claimed the lives of 173 people. 6 of those accident victims were teenagers.

Is There a Resource That Can Help Educate Teen Drivers?

Stewart advises parents to review safety information with their teens. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has a great website that offers information for teens and their parents about staying safe on the roads. Stewart says this is an important time to go over the material with your young people and make sure they understand the responsibility that goes with driving.

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