Posted On: November 12, 2010

Heads Up Maryland Parents : Teen Car Accident Rates Go Down When Parents Set Road Rules

If you're a parent in Maryland with a teenage driver on the road, you might be interested in a study about teen driving safety and supervision.

The journal Pediatrics reports that teen car accidents are less likely to happen in families where parents lay down ground rules before the kids take to the road.

The study was conducted by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which surveyed 5,500 teenagers. The results showed that young drivers are less likely to be involved in car accidents when parents restrict access to the car keys. Researchers concluded that requiring teens to ask for the car keys gives parents more opportunities to supervise their driving habits and set rules for safety.

Families may consult a Baltimore County, Maryland car accident injury lawyer when an automobile crash with injury or death occurs and they have questions about driver liability.

Teens on Maryland roadways can be a hazard not only to themselves but to their passengers and to other motorists and pedestrians they encounter in their travels. Annually in the United States -- 166,000 teens aged 16 or 17 are injured and some 1,800 are killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in PEDIATRICS Vol. 124 No. 4 October 2009.)

Lack of driving experience combined with distractions such as texting and multiple teenagers in a car can lead to teens making deadly driving mistakes. The Philadelphia study also showed that teens who own their own cars or have free access to their parents' car keys and automobiles are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. In fact 70 percent of U.S. household allows teens free access to family cars -- a risky practice.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Blog Article:
Maryland Highway Traffic Safety Gets a Green Light, But Teen Drivers Need Tougher Regulations to Prevent Auto Accidents

The Parent Report Aug. 20, 2010

Primary Access to Vehicles Increases Risky Teen Driving Behaviors and Crashes: National Perspective
Pediatrics Oct. 2009

Posted On: November 4, 2010

Maryland Auto Accidents Caused by Horses and Farm Animals in the Roadway

It's a postcard-perfect picture: You're driving down a back road in one of the rural Maryland counties, and you pass a farm with a red barn, corral, and horses lazily grazing in a field. It's a relaxing sight that harkens back to simpler times.

However the spread of suburbia into rural Maryland counties -- and the traffic that goes along with it -- means increased risk of cars and trucks encountering large animals in the roadways. That picturesque Maryland scene can turn to horror in a heartbeat if a horse, cow, or other large animal gets loose and finds itself in the road -- with an unsuspecting driver coming around the bend. Car accidents with large animals often end badly.

In an article in Stable Management magazine (see link below), an attorney who works with the equine industry goes into detail regarding various scenarios where horse and livestock owners may be held liable if an automobile accident with a large animal occurs. Laws vary from state to state, but in general...

  • Owners are responsible for keeping their horses and livestock fenced in (except in states where "open range" laws apply -- Maryland is not one of those states).

  • Horse and other livestock owners are required to keep their fences and gates in good repair.

  • Horse owners should know their animals' behavior, e.g., a horse that's known for getting away and is not properly contained may get its owner sued if a car and horse accident occurs.

Maryland Car Accidents with Farm Animals and Liability Laws
The author of the stable management article mentions "strict liability laws" that are present in a few states; Maryland IS one of those states. In Maryland, an animal owner can be sued and may be held strictly liable for injuries caused by his animal if the owner knew (or should have known) that the animal was likely to commit the particular act which caused harm. In other words, if you own a large animal and it gets loose, you may be held strictly liable if someone is hurt as a result.

Maryland car and animal accident attorneys are familiar with these state liability laws. It's best to consult with an injury lawyer experienced in this area, if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance to have suffered injury or death due to an auto crash involving a horse or farm animal in the road in Maryland.


Loose Horse Liability
Stable Management June 2008