The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzed US auto accident fatality rates for 2012.* In Maryland, 456 fatal motor vehicle crashes were recorded with 505 related deaths. That's an increase over the 485 auto crash fatalities reported in 2011 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Maryland's 505 crash related deaths in 2012 amounts to 8.6 deaths per 100,000 population and 0.90 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That is less than the overall US rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 population. By comparison, North Dakota had the highest death rate at 24.3 deaths per 100,000, while our neighbors in District of Columbia had the lowest rate at 2.4 deaths.
The IIHS report reveals other facts about fatal Maryland traffic crashes in 2012:
-- 45% were passenger car occupants
-- 18% were pickup truck and SUV occupants
-- 1% were large truck occupants
-- 14% were motorcyclists
-- 19% were pedestrians
-- 1% were bicyclists
In addition, 44 percent of fatal Maryland crashes were single-vehicle crashes, while 56 percent were multi-vehicle crashes. Those of us who live and work in Maryland know the dangers of our winding back roads. However, 60 percent of fatal Maryland crashes occurred in urban areas, while 39 percent occurred in rural areas.
Not surprisingly, drunk driving continues to be a deadly threat on our nation's highways, including in Maryland. Of the 233 drivers killed in Maryland crashes in 2012 -- 72 percent were found to have blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels greater than the legal limit of .08.
Maryland auto accident injury lawyers like us know the stories behind the crash fatality data. Each death recorded is a life tragically cut short -- a man, woman or child who didn't make it home that day. We see the heartbreak left in the wake of a fatal accident, as families cope with the sudden loss of a loved one. The emotional and financial toll can be overwhelming, which is why we're here to help families who've lost someone in a Maryland motor vehicle accident.
Maryland has taken measures in recent years to cut down on motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities. This includes adding further restrictions to laws regulating cell phone and seat belt use, installing more speed cameras at dangerous intersections and in school zones, and mounting public awareness campaigns. Still, any death on Maryland's roadways is one death too many. Recent statistics show we still have much work to do to achieve zero traffic accident deaths.
* Data gathered by the US Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney Articles:
Fatal Crash Totals in 2012
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute
Collected online Feb. 2014
Traffic Safety Facts 2011 (PDF)
US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration