Maine Personal Injury Attorney Says New Federal Study Puts Dollar Figure On Highway Accident Costs, Shows Value Of Improving Highway Safety

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The staggering costs of accidents in the accident report should spur efforts to enforce laws that reduce crashes and their toll, says Stephen Wade, an injury and accident lawyer with Skelton, Taintor & Abbott.

Stephen B. Wade

We all know the high personal toll car and motorcycle accidents can take on individual lives in Maine, but now we can see the financial toll across the country. As a nation, we need to bring down the cost in pain, loss of life and in dollars.

Stephen B. Wade, an attorney with the Maine-based law firm of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, said a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how costly highway accidents are for all Americans.

The CDC report, based on data from 2005, said automobile accidents drain the U.S. economy of nearly $100 billion a year, with a cost to each licensed driver of about $500 annually. Fatalities accounted for more than half the cost, or $58 billion.

"We all know the high personal toll car and motorcycle accidents can take on individual lives in Maine, but now we can see the financial toll across the country," said Wade, who handles vehicle accident claims. "As a nation, we need to bring down the cost in pain, loss of life and in dollars."

Wade said improving highway safety isn't complex. The steps that reduce the risk of car accident deaths and injuries are well known, he said. Wade endorsed several steps recommended by the CDC to reduce car crashes and other vehicle injuries:

  •     Increase the use of sobriety checkpoints;
  •     Mandate the use of motorcycle and bicycle helmets;
  •     Pass and enforce primary car seat belt laws that would allow police officers to stop a driver not wearing a seatbelt.

Wade added to the CDC list, saying there is a need for greater enforcement of speed limits. In Maine, Wade said the Department of Motor Vehicles found that in one recent year speeding was a factor in 18 percent of accidents and 47 percent of motor vehicle fatalities.

"We know what we have to do to end the carnage on Maine highways. We need to press those efforts to their maximum effect — fight drunk driving, make people buckle up and wear helmets on bikes and motorcycles and, finally, press motorists to keep within the speed limit," Wade said.

About Skelton, Taintor & Abbott

Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, located in downtown Auburn, Maine, has earned a reputation since 1853 as one of Maine’s most respected law firms. Several of the firm’s attorneys are listed in The Best Lawyers in America and New England Super Lawyers. The trial attorneys of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott practice in state and federal trial courts in a variety of personal injury cases and have successfully handled cases for numerous car accident victims throughout the state of Maine.

For more information, contact the Maine car accident attorneys of Skelton, Taintor & Abbott at 207-784-3200 or through the online contact form.

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