My Thoughts On Route 202 From Lewiston to Augusta
Route 202, is a cross-state road that runs through Maine, and the piece from Auburn to Augusta is a stretch I take everyday. It has seen its worst year in a long while for fatalities in 2014.
In 2014, there were five deaths, all in separate accidents. In the past decade, there have been 1,584 accidents, of those accidents, 192 involved injury and in 67, major injury and in 12, a death was involved.
Before I get into thoughts regarding Rt. 202, I just want to say my thoughts, prayers and sadness goes out to those have lost a loved one or more than one in an accident on Route 202, or in any other accident.
First and foremost, in the article, the highest speed limit on that 25 mile stretch is 55 mph, not 50, but none the less, maybe it should be just 50?
The road is well enough maintained and it's easy to go 5-10 miles over the limit without it feeling like you're going too fast. I have seen countless times in good weather, in bad and yes snowstorms as well, too many drivers passing me at 70 when the road opens up and becomes straight in Monmouth. I have seen people drive around cars turning left without looking to see whether anyone is coming out of a side road and turning left.
Route 202 between Lewiston and Augusta is also a road that has high volume I'm sure because of it being parallel and more or less equal in time to the Turnpike, toll free and a few miles shorter. When you take time, gas, tolls, 202 is a better value for commuting at least that would be my assumption. So, the more cars you have on a road the more likely accidents will occur. If you slowed down traffic by lowering the speed limit by 5 mph, some would elect to take the Pike because it would take longer to drive to Augusta or Lewiston.
The road doesn't seem like it's badly banked or has any other engineering issues at least to me. Every car I've owned in the past almost 20 years that I've used to run that road, I've never felt out of control or like the road didn't agree with the car.
My personal history with Rt. 202 is vast and on certain occasions I've been guilty of what I talk about above, ie: speeding, passing aggressively, driving around cars turning left, etc. Look I know it happens, I also have a few carbon copies of tickets to prove it.
In my commutes over the years, I have had a few accidents, I hit a guardrail just west of Phil's Super Variety heading toward Auburn trying to avoid a deer back in 2002 (which wouldn't be part of the 1,584 accidents reported in the past decade as it happened before the data.)
Of those 1,584 accidents since 2004, I have been involved in two, thankfully there were no injuries. Both times I was rear-ended.
I include myself in this but I think we all just need to pay attention more to other drivers and not be so complacent on the road, meaning daydream less, drive appropriately and stay off electronic devices.
For further statistics and the whole story, read the article in the Sun Journal.