The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is reminding all road users to exercise additional caution as the state enters the season of graduations, outdoor gatherings and summer getaways, as 42 lives have already been lost in road incidents this year.

The number of year-to-date road fatalities is up from 29 deaths as of May 7, 2023, having seesawed in recent years from 50 deaths in the same period of 2022, 28 deaths in 2021 and 40 deaths in 2020, the bureau reported in a statement.

“All these tragic deaths could have been prevented, sparing grief and heartache for their loved ones left behind,” said Lauren Stewart, bureau director. “These are not merely numbers. These are real people with friends and families that will miss them forever.”

Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable road users, in part because they’re harder to see, despite increased daylight hours, Stewart said.

Pedestrians and motorcyclists in particular are significantly overrepresented in traffic fatalities nationwide. In Maine, 16 motorcycle riders and 20 pedestrians were killed in 2023, according to preliminary data provided by the bureau.

“The bureau encourages motorists to share the road and watch for motorcyclists,” Stewart said. “Take a second to take a second look. It might just save a life.”

Stewart also encouraged parents and other adults to model safe driving habits for the teens in their lives, noting that teen drivers accounted for 9% of Maine’s motor vehicle crashes and 9% of motor vehicle fatalities in 2023.

“Spend time behind the wheel with your young driver,” Stewart said. “Set limits and impress upon them the importance of safe driving habits.”

For more information on safe driving, visit

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