Mortorcycle Accidents Today and Yesterday

Maine Motorcycle Accident Statistics Today and Yesterday

When examining Maine motorcycle accident statistics, you’ll notice that fatalities have increased in recent years. By understanding the riskiest times and days to ride, common causes, and other data, you can potentially help reduce the risk of an accident. If you sustained injuries on a motorcycle due to another party’s actions, you could have the legal right to bring a claim for damages. 

The data we’re sharing here tells a story of risk, safety, and, sometimes, tragedy on the roads. As we explore these statistics, we aim to inform and educate, not incite fear. At Mann Law, we firmly believe that a better understanding of these statistics can contribute to safer practices and help prevent accidents in our community.

Motorcycle Fatalities Over the Last Five Years

Over the last five years, Maine has seen a concerning rise in motorcycle accident deaths, underscoring the need for enhanced safety measures and awareness. Here’s a look at fatality statistics for 2018 to 2022 from the Maine Department of Transportation

  • Twenty-one fatalities in 2018,
  • Twenty-four fatalities in 2019,
  • Twenty-eight fatalities in 2020, 
  • Twenty-one fatalities in 2021, and
  • Thirty-three fatalities in 2022. 

Despite the single-year decrease in 2021, the general trend points to an increasing number of motorcycle-related fatalities in Maine. 

Maine Motorcycle Accident Statistics and Trends

The State of Maine also published a report on data and trends involving motorcycle accidents from 2017 to 2021. Let’s look at some of the data found in this report. 

Counties with Highest Crashes 

York and Cumberland counties have the highest number of accidents during those five years. With 662 and 491 crashes, these counties present a significant area of concern. 

Rider Age and Crash Incidence

One of the most revealing data points is the age of riders involved in accidents. The 50-59 age group had the highest rate of crashes at 587, closely followed by the 30-39 age group, with 453 crashes. 

Helmet Usage and Safety

Helmet usage is an essential factor in motorcycle safety. According to Maine law, only those under 18 years must wear a helmet while riding. The data collected from 2017 to 2021 indicates that helmet use might make the difference between life and death in a crash. 

Of the 121 total fatalities, 85 involved riders not wearing a helmet, while only 36 involved riders wearing Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmets. This statistic underscores the importance of wearing a DOT-approved helmet, regardless of legal requirements.

Time and Weather Factors

Time of day and weather conditions are critical considerations when analyzing motorcycle accidents. Most collisions happen during the day, not at nighttime. And perhaps surprisingly, most involved clear days, with fewer collisions occurring on rainy days.

The peak crash months were July, with 559 collisions; August, with 528; and June, with 473 crashes. This corresponds with the summer season when more motorcycles are on the roads due to favorable weather conditions. 

Similarly, weekends saw a higher accident rate, particularly Saturdays. This could be due to a higher volume of recreational motorcycle use during weekends when people have more leisure time. Despite the allure of riding on beautiful summer days and relaxing weekends, motorcyclists need to remember that these are also the times when accidents are most likely to occur.

Primary Contributing Factors in Maine Motorcycle Accidents 

Regarding the causes of motorcycle vs. car accident statistics, most collisions had no contributing factors from the motorcycle rider. This data points to the importance of mutual respect and awareness on the roads. Other motorists’ actions played a significant role in these accidents. The top three factors were: 

  • Failing to yield the right of way, 
  • Running off the roadway, and 
  • Following too closely. 

Understanding these statistics is more than just a numbers game. It’s about recognizing the risk factors and using this knowledge for all motorists to engage in safer behavior. 

Other Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Are on the Rise 

Wondering about some of the other contributing factors in motorcycle accidents across the state? Some of the most common contributing factors include the following. 

  • No helmet usage. A staggering 75% of fatalities involved riders not wearing a helmet, underlining the life-saving potential of this simple safety measure. Despite Maine law only requiring helmet use for riders under 18, the figures clearly advocate for widespread use among all age groups.
  • Distracted driving. In today’s digital age, distractions such as texting, using GPS units, or checking phones while driving pose significant risks. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of distracted driving by other motorists.
  • Impaired riding. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment and reaction times, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. Too many motorcycle accidents involve intoxication, emphasizing the importance of riding sober.
  • Reckless driving and speeding: High speeds reduce the time available for motorists to react to hazards, resulting in more accidents. Practicing safe driving habits, including adhering to speed limits and avoiding reckless maneuvers, is crucial.
  • Lack of training or inexperience. Adequate motorcycle training can make the difference between safe rides and severe accidents. Many accidents involve riders with inadequate training or rusty skills, especially older riders returning to motorcycling after a long hiatus.
  • Nice weather. Sunny days might seem perfect for a ride, but increased riding activity also increases accident probabilities. Awareness of this can encourage more cautious riding on such days.
  • Wildlife hazards. Encountering wildlife like a deer on the road can surprise out-of-state riders, resulting in accidents. Local riders should stay vigilant and inform visiting riders of potential wildlife encounters.

Though the Maine motorcycle accident statistics are sobering, they provide valuable safety information for all riders. Here are the top safety precautions to consider.

  • Wear a helmet. Though it might not be the trendiest choice, a helmet is proven to save lives. Regardless of legal requirements, wearing a helmet is always a wise decision that could save your life.
  • Take a motorcycle class. Maine requires potential operators to obtain Motorcycle Operator Education before receiving their learner’s permit. For comprehensive safety training, consider the Basic Rider Course (BRC), which is mandatory for getting a motorcycle endorsement, or the Advanced Rider Course (ARC) for enhancing your skills.
  • Ensure others can see you. The recent trend of black motorcycles, gear, and helmets may pose visibility issues, particularly against dark backgrounds. Opt for bright colors or reflective gear to improve visibility to other motorists.
  • Drive safely. Always practice safe driving habits. Avoid drinking and riding. 

If you suffered injuries in a Maine motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance to learn more about your legal rights. 

Contact Mann Law 

At Mann Law, we focus on navigating the complexities of motorcycle accident claims. As a woman-owned firm, we bring a unique perspective, focusing not just on monetary losses but on understanding and addressing your accident’s emotional, physical, and life-altering implications.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for a thorough evaluation of your case. We have decades of combined experience, including insurance defense work. We know the tactics insurance companies use to deny liability or lowball a victim. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can assist you after an injury motorcycle accident in Maine.

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Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.