Maryland Traffic Crash Data : Auto Accidents and Fatalities Down, but Aggressive Driving Stats Up

The Choose Safety for Life * Maryland Safety Campaigns has posted some interesting data on motor vehicle accidents in Maryland:

  • Total number of Maryland car crashes has gone down from 104,103 in 2004 to 95,349 in 2008.
  • The number of fatal crashes has also declined: from 576 in 2004 to 539 in 2008.
  • Maryland traffic deaths declined from 643 deaths in 2004 to 592 deaths in 2008.
  • Traffic accidents causing injury in Maryland have declined from 36,611 accidents in 2004 to 32,769 in 2008.

Public safety campaigns, stiffer driving laws, and ramped up law enforcement efforts seem to be making Maryland roads and highways safer. However the same studies show that while Maryland traffic accidents, deaths, and injuries have declined — accidents caused by aggressive driving have statistically increased.

Aggressive Drivers in Maryland : Police Codes Tell the Story
The study attributed 3,909 Maryland motor vehicle crashes in 2004 to aggressive driving — a number that jumped to 6,111 aggressive driving accidents in 2008.

The study notes that changes in how police officers code Maryland motor vehicle accidents has contributed to the dramatic increase in aggressive driving accident statistics. Better data collection on the part of police has led to more accidents now specifically being attributed to aggressive drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies aggressive driving as when a motorist “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”

Motorists know the signature traits of aggressive drivers: tail gating, passing on the right, cutting in and out of lanes, yelling and making rude hand gestures, and leaning on the horn. Carroll County, Md. car accident injury attorneys see the results of what can happen when a driver’s temper and rush to get someplace gets the better of them. People die and are maimed on the roads in Maryland due to aggressive driving. (See link to the NHTSA portal below for what to do if you encounter an aggressive driver.)

Other Maryland Traffic Accident Trends of Interest
The Choose Safety for Life statistics show a reduction in numbers of Maryland car crashes caused by drunk or drug-impaired drivers (8,556 accidents in 2004 vs. 8,145 accidents in 2008), as well as distracted drivers (44,972 accidents in 2004 vs. 23,707 accidents in 2008). However, numbers of Maryland motorcycle accidents increased.

Source:
Maryland Statewide General & Program Area Objectives vs. Actual Numbers
Choose Safety for Life * Maryland Safety Campaigns Produced for the Maryland Highway Safety Office by the National Study Center for Trauma & EMS (December 2007)

Related Web Resource

NHTSA Aggressive Driving Portal