Posted On: December 21, 2009

New Year's Eve and Other Holiday Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Maryland

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is scrambling. There's last-minute shopping, preparing for holiday parties and feasts, wrapping up year-end projects at work -- and increased travel by air, rail, and road. Unfortunately, drunk driving car accidents are also part of the holiday picture in Maryland and around the country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that state law enforcement across the country will be cracking down on drunk drivers this holiday season, with the "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" campaign. People who overindulge in alcohol at family gatherings, work parties, New Year's Eve celebrations, and other holiday get-togethers pose a risk of serious personal injury (including debilitating brain or spine injury) or death to themselves and others. Nationally, 13,470 people were killed in 2006 in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Maryland Drunk Driving Statistics and Holiday Traffic Accidents
Baltimore County, Maryland car accident lawyers know the human stories behind the statistics. In Maryland, 189 people died in drunk-driving accidents in 2006. And while the Maryland state rate of drunk-driving accident fatalities has been on the decline in recent years (178 deaths in 2007 and 152 in 2008 -- a decline of 12.5%), we know that even one death is one too many. (Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Maryland, 2004 - 2008).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nationally, more fatal drunk-driving car crashes occur at night (36%) and on the weekend (31%) -- just when holiday parties are most likely to be held. In Maryland, we have snow, ice, and the rest of winter's fury adding to the hazards on our roads and highways.

So please: Drive sober, within the speed limit, and defensively this holiday season -- and be alert if you're coming home from a party. The night-time fatal drunk driving accident rate is four times higher than the day-time rate (9%). That's a sobering figure to keep in mind when you're driving to or from your destinations this holiday season. (Source: Traffic Safety Facts 2006 Data, Alcohol-Impaired Driving, NHTSA)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Intensive Holiday Drunk & Impaired Driving Crackdown & Advertising Blitz
NHTSA Press Release, Dec. 7, 2009

Fatalities and Fatality Rates in Alcohol- Impaired-Driving Crashes by State, 2007-2008 (download PDF)
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note, Dec. 2009

Related Web Resources

Over the Limit, Under Arrest 2009 Campaign

Maryland Department of Transportation: Traveler Alerts

Posted On: December 15, 2009

Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death: Will 98 Year Old Stand Trial for Murder of Roommate?

Maryland injury lawyers who assist families in nursing home abuse and neglect cases hear some sad and maddening stories of harm -- or even murder -- befalling seniors in the care of retirement facilities.

When most people in Maryland think about nursing home abuse, they usually suspect elder care staff as the most likely culprits. But the elderly residents themselves may also abuse their fellow senior citizens -- or worse. A chilling news story reported out of the Boston area last week focuses on the strangulation death of a grandmother who had recently celebrated her 100th birthday with her family.

According to an Associated Press report in The Baltimore Sun, a 98-year-old woman has been indicted for strangling and smothering her 100-year-old roommate by tying a plastic bag around her head because she felt she was "trying to take over the room." The two women's beds were separated by just four feet. The Sun reports that the victim's son had asked the facility to separate the two women due to tensions between them, but he was reassured that they were getting along -- and that his mother did not want to leave the room, where she had lived with her husband until his death in 2007.

The Boston Globe goes on to say that on the evening prior to the murder, the alleged perpetrator placed a table in front of the victim's bed, preventing her from going to the bathroom. When a nursing aide moved the table, the 98-year-old punched her. The 100-year-old was found asphyxiated the following morning, in a room that was just several feet from a nurses' station. When staff moved the woman to another room, she spotted a white shopping bag and was quoted as telling her new roommate, "I hope I don't have to use that." She reportedly had a history of dementia and erratic behavior.

A tragic case like this brings up many troubling questions for Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys, regarding whether or not this nursing home death could have been prevented, had staff and management heeded the warning signs. Massachusetts courts are pushing forward with indicting the 98-year-old, who was being evaluated in a psychiatric hospital. If she is found competent to stand trial, she will be the oldest murder suspect to go on trial in the state.

DA: 98-year-old Mass. woman strangled 100-year-old roommate because she was 'taking over' room
The Baltimore Sun Dec. 11, 2009

Woman, 98, indicted on murder charges
Boston.com Dec. 12, 2009

Related Web Resources

Maryland Department of Aging / Housing Information

Assisted Living in Maryland: What You Need to Know (PDF doc)
University of Maryland Law School 2002

Posted On: December 10, 2009

Pedestrian Killed in Baltimore County, Maryland Tanker Truck Accident at I-695

A fatal pedestrian accident took place this past weekend in Baltimore County, Maryland, involving a tanker truck.

Maryland State Police reported that on Saturday morning, a pedestrian stepped into the path of an Exxon tanker truck at Harford Road and Interstate 695. The man, a 57 year old resident of Parkville, Md., died of his injuries at the scene. The Baltimore Sun reported that alcohol was not a factor in this fatal Maryland truck accident. No further details were available.

Baltimore County truck accident attorneys are familiar with regulations in place governing the safe operation of commercial vehicles, such as tanker trailer trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, works to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

The FMCSA reports on its Safety Tips for Pedestrians website that pedestrians are at "a major disadvantage" when crossing roads and intersections where large commercial trucks and buses travel. Pedestrians may not always be visible to drivers of large commercial vehicles, which take longer to brake and stop than automobiles.

Police identify pedestrian killed by tanker truck
BaltimoreSun.com Dec. 7, 2009

Related Web Resources

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

FMCSA: Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Maryland State Police

Posted On: December 3, 2009

Maryland Chain Reaction Car Accident Kills Pedestrian, Injures 3 Others

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, police reported that a fatal car pedestrian crash occurred Mon. Nov. 30 in Severna Park, Md.

The deadly car and pedestrian accident took place around noon on Ritchie Highway near Cypress Creek Rd. According to news reports, a Chestertown woman, age 64, and a man, age 43, from Arnold, Maryland, were standing next to a minivan that had stopped because of a motor vehicle accident. A Jeep Cherokee driven by an 18-year-old man crashed into a vehicle stopped at a traffic light, setting off a four-vehicle chain reaction that pushed into the two bystanders. The woman pedestrian died of her injuries and three other people suffered personal injuries.

Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers are well versed in state driving laws and issues surrounding driver liability, when a serious car or truck accident occurs and someone is hurt or killed on our state's roads and highways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though car-pedestrian fatalities decreased by 13 percent from 1997 to 2007 -- still 4,654 pedestrians lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2007. Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, at night, under normal weather conditions, and where walkers are not in crosswalks. (Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2007 Data: Pedestrians)

No further details were available on this fatal Anne Arundel County, Maryland car and pedestrian accident.

MARYLAND: Pedestrian killed in 4-car crash
Associated Press Dec. 1, 2009

Related Web Resource
NHTSA Pedestrian Portal