Maryland Highway Traffic Safety Gets a Green Light, But Teen Drivers Need Tougher Regulations to Prevent Auto Accidents

Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety reports that Maryland is among a handful of states that get good or “green” marks for highway safety. However the group believes that Maryland teen traffic accidents could be prevented with tougher state laws restricting teenage drivers.

Maryland has a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program for teens and has adopted an all-driver ban on texting while driving (see blog entry on Maryland texting and driving ban).

Still The Washington Post reported that Md. “failed to make the grade in five areas, four of them restrictions on teen drivers and the fifth a requirement for use of interlock devices by all offenders.” An interlock device is a handheld breath testing unit used to monitor whether drivers who have been charged with drunk driving — a main cause of fatal highway accidents in Maryland and around the country — are in fact under the influence when they attempt to start their vehicles. The device disables the car’s ignition if the driver does not exhale a sober breath sample.

An experienced Baltimore County car accident injury lawyer keeps current on state laws governing teen drivers. They are aware of the heightened risk that occurs when teens get behind the wheel, particularly if they’re texting, talking on cell phones, distracted by other young passengers in the car — and if alcohol or drugs are involved. (See related blog item on teen driving laws in Maryland.)

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety group has issued a 2010 roadmap of recommendations urging states to pass additional safety regulations related to teen driving, impaired driving, child passenger safety, and other safety issues. DC joined Maryland in getting overall good marks for highway safety. Our neighbor Virginia, however, got poor or red marks. The Post wrote that the act of driving over Potomac River bridges brings motorists into dangerous territory for car, motorcycle, or truck and SUV accidents.

Va. is ranked among the worst states for highway safety
WashingtonPost.com Jan. 11, 2010
Related Web Resources

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

The 2010 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws

Safe Roads 4 Teens: Maryland Teen Driving Laws