Heads Up: Maryland State Police on the Lookout for Distracted Drivers

A recent survey by Esurance revealed that while most everyone thinks distracted driving is dangerous, a majority of drivers are guilty of it. It comes as no surprise that the cell phone is the primary can’t-put-it-down gadget driving motorists to distraction—whether talking on it, reading email or texting while driving (which, incidentally, is illegal in Maryland and most all states).

We’ve all seen drivers crawling along in Baltimore city traffic, as well as motoring along our Maryland highways—looking up and down, up and down. This is the tell-tale sign of texting while driving. And it only takes a second with eyes off the road for an accident to happen.

Now your fellow Maryland motorists won’t be the only ones watching to see if you’re engaging in texting while driving and other dangerous distracted driving behaviors. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. And the Maryland State Police will be on the looking for distracted drivers, who are in large part to blame for a national increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents—reversing a trend that had been on the decline for 50 years.

This month, Maryland State Police are embarking on a campaign to crack down on these potentially deadly distracted driving habits. While the cell phone is the primary cause of distraction, it’s not the only one….

A Maryland State Police spokesperson told CBS News Baltimore that while cell phone usage is cited in many distracted driving accidents—cell phones aren’t the only cause. Drivers engage in other behaviors that take their eyes and minds off the road, including eating and drinking, personal grooming, fiddling with knobs on the dashboard, even watching videos while driving. He described the distracted driving problem as “an all-encompassing issue on Maryland roads.”

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports an estimated 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. Of those, an average 27,000 people are killed or injured each year due to distracted-driving related auto crashes. Each one of these deaths is preventable. As the NSC asserts, “Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.”

While distracted driving awareness is promoted in April, the Maryland State Police say they watch out for distracted drivers every month of the year. Don’t be one of them.

SOURCES:

Distracted driving: Everyone hates it, but most of us do it, study finds
ARS Technica Feb. 2018

April Is ‘Distracted Driving Awareness Month’
CBS News Baltimore April 9, 2018

Distracted Driving Awareness Month
National Safety Council April 2018