AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A stretch of Route 4 between Auburn and Turner has drivers and DOT officials concerned.
It's not that the accident rate is unusally high, but it's the ratio of accidents to fatalities that's troubling: a DOT study found it to be four times the state average.
According to the Maine Department of Transportation, there's been 55 accidents since 2003 at the intersection of Route 4 and Lake Shore Drive in Auburn, a common place for cars to turn into Lake Auburn.
In total, there have been more than 600 accidents on the corridor between Auburn and Turner on Route 4 since 2003.
Five were fatal, and 32 resulted in incapacitating injuries.
In 2012, there have been four accidents at that one intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Route 4 alone.
One of them involved a five-year-old girl, Danicka Demayo.
"My daugther actually thought she'd be ordering a casket for my granddaughter," said Patricia Demayo, Danicka's grandmother.
Patricia was riding in a car with her daugther, Danicka, and another passenger. Danicka asked her mother, Amy, if they could stop the car to stretch their legs at Lake Auburn.
"Her mother told her yes and she said 'I love you mommy,' and that was it. We were hit."
They had been stopped in a line of cars waiting to turn onto Lake Shore Drive when another car rear-ended them, injuring six people and fracturing Danicka's skull.
Since the accident in August, Danicka is recovering, but still going to therapy instead of starting school.
Patricia said the family is still suffering from the emotional impact of the crash, and it comes back every time she reads about an accident on Route 4.
DOT officials have made some changes to the stretch of highway: installing signage and rumble strips, along with a flashing light sign right before the Lake Shore Drive turn.
But accident prevention may require more: a warning to distracted drivers.
"Looking at what we've seen in the crash reports, I think there's some inattentive driving," said Stephen Landry, engineer with Maine DOT.
"It could be cell phone use, could be texting, could be playing with the radio, so those things are difficult to fix," he said.
One option is making one of the four lanes on Route 4 a turning lane, but Landry said it could cause its own set of problems.
He said they'd have to favor one direction of traffic over the other, and it could just send accidents to a different part of the road.
Additionally, it could cause speeding cars to switch lanes and pass cars in the turning lane.
Other options include reducing the speed limit.
Route 4 goes up to 55 mph, but Landry said lowering it would not necessarily mean less accidents.
He explained that drivers tend to go as fast as they feel -- and if the corridor lends itself to a speed limit around 55, that's how fast they will go, regardless of speed limit changes.
He said lowering the limit would cause some drivers to slow down and obey it, but other drivers will keep speeding.
Studies have shown that the greater the difference between driving speeds, the greater frequency of accidents.
Still, DOT officials want to discuss possibilities along Route 4, and listen to public comment.
There will be a public meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Auburn Hall.