Another motorcycle accident in Maine has claimed an innocent life. 36-year-old Robert Locke, from Lynbrook, New York, died after being thrown from his motorcycle on Alfred’s Route 111. According to state police, the victim had joined a group of friends for a trip to New Hampshire when the accident happened. Police say that Locke swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle that was turning onto Clark Road when he lost control of his bike and was flung onto the roadway.
He was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Locke was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. This recent tragedy marks the 5th motorcycle death in Maine this year.
Motorcycle crashes in Maine on the rise
With summer in full swing, more avid bikers are taking to Maine roads than ever before. But operating or riding a motorcycle comes with inherent risks, making this mode of transportation exceedingly dangerous. According to the Maine Department of Public Safety, the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes in Maine has been steadily climbing, with 17 deaths recorded between January 1 and August 3, 2015. By contrast, during the same period in 2014, only six motorcycle crash-related deaths were reported.
Although alcohol, speed and not wearing a helmet contribute to a number of these fatalities, others argue that distracted drivers and a lack of motorcycle safety training are also to blame.
Take Mark Wild, a 53-year old Brunswick resident who been riding motorcycles most of his life. “I ride pretty often, and I see so many people on cellphones,” he told Bangor Daily News. “If you are distracted driving — it may be a cellphone, it may be a touch screen in a car — that is a potion for disaster for motorcyclists. It’s just making it even harder for them to be seen.”
Lack of safety training another issue
The coordinator of the Motorcycle Safety Program for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, John Kohler, offers a different perspective on growing numbers of motorcycle accidents, opining that a lack on hands-on training is associated with the lion’s share of fatal crashes. “Our attitude is, once people have been riding for a number of years, they get complacent.” Maine has set up a number of training schools across the state that offer experienced-rider courses free of charge. The courses, which are subsidized by a grant from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, are designed to help motorcyclists drive more defensively, teaching bikers how to swerve or brake suddenly without skidding and losing control.
When crashes are caused by negligence
In the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident, the personal injury lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing will investigate your case, establish liability and assist with all insurance claims. As veteran Maine accident attorneys, we will also diligently fight for the maximum accident settlement to account for pain and suffering, medical expenses, psychological injuries, long-term rehabilitation, lost wages and future earnings.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve; contact our offices at 1-800-INJURED for a free legal consultation to find out if you are eligible for compensation. There are no upfront fees until we secure a verdict or settlement on your behalf.