Posted On: July 30, 2012

Preventing Maryland Traffic Accidents : Speeding Ticket Stats Shed Light on 10 MPH "Cushion" Drivers Add to Speed Limit

When you're driving on the Baltimore Beltway, I-695, or any other heavily travelled Maryland interstate or highway -- do you obey the posted speed limits? Or do you let your car or truck go 5 or 10 mph over, or maybe more -- hoping Maryland state troopers and police officers don't catch you and slap you with a speeding ticket? What about on our winding Maryland back roads? Do you slow down per the speed limit signs?

Baltimore County car accident injury lawyers like us know that speeding can be a deadly factor in Maryland auto crashes. Now an investigation by The Baltimore Sun sheds some light on Maryland driving patterns -- and how fast drivers go before they get ticketed -- based on speeding ticket data. Some "I can't drive 65" motorists in Maryland believe they can add 10 mph to the posted speed limits, without prompting police to issue a traffic citation. The study took a look at that common driver belief with some interesting findings.

The Sun investigation looked at more than 272,000 speeding tickets given to Maryland drivers by state troopers or police during the 2011 fiscal year. (Automatic tickets issued by speed cameras, put in place in Baltimore and other urban areas to curb speed-related Maryland traffic and pedestrian accidents, were excluded from the study.) Of that amount, over 25 percent of tickets were issued to drivers traveling just 1 to 9 mph over the speed limit. That may come as a surprise to some Maryland drivers who think they're safe if their speedometer says they're just going a little bit too fast.

But Maryland law enforcers issued more than 43 percent of tickets to drivers who were going 10 to 19 mph over the posted speed limits. Who hasn't driven on a Maryland highway -- only to have some aggressive driver fly by in the passing lane, going what we can only guess is at least that much over the speed limit? Police officers ticketed that group of speeders the most.

What's more alarming is over 26 percent of speeding tickets were issued to drivers going 20 to 29 mph over the speed limit. Topping out the group are the drivers we all hope we never encounter on Maryland back roads or highways: those going a jaw-dropping 30 to 39 mph over the speed limit (3.1% of tickets issued) and 40+ mph over the limit (.7% of tickets -- which sounds minimal but still amounted to more than 2,000 traffic citations).

Speeding in Maryland comes at a cost. In addition to putting themselves and other Maryland motorists at risk for auto crashes, speeding drivers are fined at rates that go up as their gas pedals go down. The Sun reports that drivers cited for going 10 mph or less over the limit are fined $80 and issued one driver's license point (Maryland MVA tracks driver moving violations -- get enough and you'll get warned, get more and your license is in jeopardy). Drivers going 10 to 19 mph over the limit get a $90 fine and two driver's license point ($160 if the speed limit is 65 mph).

As we always say, drive defensively in Maryland. Save yourself and other motorists money and heartache. In 2010, speeding was a factor in 154 motor vehicle fatalities in Maryland (source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Maryland 2006-2010).

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Articles:

Running on Red in Maryland : Would Longer Yellow Traffic Light Times Cut Down on Intersection Accidents? (April 2012)

Deterring Baltimore County Traffic Accidents: Speed Camera Laws Go Into Effect (Oct. 2009)


Maryland speeding ticket statistics complicate myth of 10 mph cushion
The Baltimore Sun July 20, 2012

Posted On: July 7, 2012

Maryland Construction and Farm Worker Safety : OSHA Launches Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness and Death in Outdoor Workers

"Is it hot enough for you?" Folks jokingly use that rather tepid greeting when temperatures rise to uncomfortable levels. However heat stroke is no laughing matter. Vast parts of the U.S. have experienced record-breaking heat this summer, with some states seeing temps soar and stay above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Baltimore, Maryland and entire the Mid-Atlantic region have not escaped the brutal heat, as we've sweated under a heat advisory for much of the summer.

People who work outside in Maryland performing manual labor jobs at are greater risk for suffering heat stroke and heat-related illnesses, which can lead to death. This includes people who work in the construction industry as well as farm workers in Maryland.

With these hard-working people and their employers in mind, the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced a national campaign aimed at preventing worker injury and death from heat-related illness. The Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers aims to educate business owners, managers, and employees to learn who is at risk, the signs of heat illness, and how to respond if a worker is in distress.

Baltimore County, Maryland work accident injury lawyers advise injured employees and grieving families, when a work-related accident or illness causes injury or death. With sustained hot temperatures in Maryland and across the country, it's no wonder OSHA has made preventing heat injuries and deaths a priority.

OSHA reports that workers most at risk of heat related illness include those performing manual labor outdoors, wearing heavy or bulky and protective clothing, and those not accustomed to working in the heat. Heat stroke occurs when sweating is not enough for the body to cool itself, and body temperatures rise to dangerous levels. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can be fatal.

Maryland Workers' Compensation claims may be filed in a broad range of accident injury and illness cases, including those caused by heat stroke. Here in Maryland, a wide range of workers perform heavy labor outside in the brutal heat, including construction workers (such as builders, roofers, carpenters, road and and highway construction workers in Maryland), public works personnel in our Maryland towns and cities, utility repair people, and farm workers harvesting our fields and operating farm vehicles and other heavy agricultural equipment.

Maryland is part of the OSHA Region 3 office in Philadelphia, which includes Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. OSHA has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of the heat illness prevention campaign. NOAA now includes worker safety precautions when extreme heat alerts are issued to the public (see links below).

OSHA recommends outdoor workers drink plenty of water, take breaks, and find shade to rest. The organization also hopes to educate employers and workers on the warning signs of heat stroke, and how to react if a worker becomes sick from the heat. In addition to targeting heat related illnesses in workers this summer, OSHA also launched a national construction slip and fall accidents prevention campaign. See related article below.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Article:

Preventing Maryland Construction Work Falls and Fatalities : OSHA Launches Fall Prevention Campaign (May 15, 2012)


OSHA Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers

NOAA : Heat Wave, A Major Summer Killer