Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

State and city officials are looking at ways to curb Baltimore, Maryland car accidents caused by speeding. In May, Maryland legislators passed a law which allows speed cameras to be posted within one half mile of schools and construction sites. Now the Baltimore City Council has voted an initial thumbs-up to installing speed cameras in those vulnerable places. If the measure passes, the speed cameras could start going up around Baltimore construction sites and schools by October.

Maryland law requires that signs be posted alerting motorists that the speed cameras are in use. Speed cameras snap photos of license plates of motorists going more than 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. A $40 ticket would then be sent to the address connected to the vehicle’s license plate registration. The hope is the cameras will deter speeding drivers, who can cause fatal Maryland traffic and pedestrian accidents.

Baltimore and Maryland Speeding Fatalities

A national survey conducted by auto club AutoVantage rates Baltimore, Maryland, as the USA’s no.-3 most courteous city to drive in. Does this surprise you? Or sound about right? The top city was Portland, Oregon, followed by Cleveland, then our beloved city.

The AutoVantage survey was conducted to determine the causes of road rage, which can lead to car and truck accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death on the road. New York City ranked no. 1 for having the angriest and most aggressive drivers, unseating long-time champ Miami, which had topped the list for the past 4 surveys. NYC was followed by Dallas Fort Worth and Detroit as the places with the worst road rage.

The survey found that the top causes of road rage were other drivers driving badly (i.e., speeding, tailgating, failing to use turn signals, cutting each other off, or close-shave lane changing), talking on cell phones, and making obscene gestures. Other causes included bad weather, road construction, or simply people who are tired, angry, stressed, in a hurry, or otherwise “having a bad day.” That pretty much covers just about everyone on the road, wouldn’t you say? Yet Baltimore’s courteous drivers have made the national news. Go Baltimore!

According to the Annapolis, Maryland police, two bicyclists were hospitalized last Friday for injuries suffered in an Anne Arundel County bicycle-car accident. The accident took place when a motorist parked on Main Street in Annapolis opened his car door into the path of the oncoming cyclists. One injured cyclist was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center and the other to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The accident occurred on Bike to Work Day, a national and regional event to promote bicycling as an alternative means of transportation. The event attracted more than 1,000 riders in Baltimore. An experienced Maryland car accident lawyer helps families of a bicyclist injured or killed in a traffic accident determine if they have a legitimate claim against the operator of a motor vehicle.

Maryland Bicycle Traffic Accident Statistics and Helmet Laws

Last week, NHTSA announced that projected numbers of motor vehicle fatalities across the U.S. in 2008 will fall to a near 50-year low (the actual counts will be released this August). A continued drop in Maryland traffic accident deaths is expected, in keeping with trends across the country. Let’s look at some Maryland car crash statistics available today:

  • In 2007, a total of 614 people died in motor vehicle accidents in Maryland, down from 650 fatalities in 2003.
  • Of those 614 fatalities, 179 involved alcohol-impaired driving and 216 involved speeding.

Some Maryland motorcycle riders would like the state to relax its mandatory helmet law, which was enacted in 1992 to decrease the rate of Maryland motorcycle crash fatalities. Senator John Astle (D-Annapolis), who is himself a biker, is behind the latest push in the General Assembly to allow exemptions to the helmet law for some cyclists.

Sen. Astle presented a proposal to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in Annapolis, Maryland, earlier this month which would allow a helmet law exemption for motorcycle riders aged 21 or older who have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years, or who have completed a safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Maryland Fatal Motorcycle Crash Statistics

Have you ever been stopped in highway traffic while a medical helicopter lands to transport victims of a Maryland car crash to the hospital? It’s a heart-stopping sight, and we can only hope that the helicopter gets the victims to the hospital in time. Now Maryland lawmakers are reevaluating the state’s emergency medical services since a crash involving a state helicopter claimed four lives last fall.

The Maryland State Police medical helicopter program has been under scrutiny since a Sept. 27, 2008 crash killed four people in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The helicopter was on its way to a hospital 25 miles away when it was diverted to Andrews Air Force Base in foul weather and crashed — killing the pilot, a paramedic, a medical technician, and one of the car accident victims. An 18-year-old injured in the Charles County Maryland traffic accident survived the helicopter crash. Legislation is now being proposed that would separate Maryland law enforcement from rescue functions.

The subject of medical helicopter accidents has received national attention lately, as such accidents have been on the rise since the 1990s due in part to the closing of emergency rooms in rural areas and an aging US population. National and state safety officials are reconsidering whether some patients would be safer and just as well served by using regular ground ambulance transports. Triaging methods used by emergency responders are also being questioned.

Charges against a Port Republic, Maryland driver blamed in a fatal motorcycle crash were dropped Nov. 5, because the State Trooper who made the traffic violation charges against her was not present at the trial due to a court scheduling error.

In Calvert County District Court, Sarah E. Brown, 50, faced charges of negligent driving, failure to yield right of way, and failure to secure a child under 8 in a safety seat in a collision on Aug. 1 that killed motorcycle rider Larry G. Hogan II, 43.

Also a resident of Port Republic, Maryland, Hogan worked for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative for over two decades. He volunteered for the Dunkirk and St. Leonard fire departments and he enjoyed bowling. He was also a motorcycle enthusiast. Hogan was riding his motorcycle when motorist Sarah E. Brown turned her vehicle left onto Broomes Island Road and failed to yield to the motorcyclist. Hogan’s bike hit the rear of her vehicle and he suffered fatal injuries.

A Washington County Circuit judge has sentenced a Smithsburg, Maryland man under an Alford plea to 10 years in prison for manslaughter by vehicle, resulting from a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred in Hagerstown on May 25, 2008.

Debra Reed Fields-Jordan of Boonsboro, Maryland was riding her motorcycle east on Md. 77, cruising down the road to a hamburger stand in Thurmont, Maryland. Tragically, this 35-year-old wife and mother of five children never made it to her destination.

A pickup truck heading south on Pleasant Valley Road driven by Harry William “Billy” Shrader Jr. ran a stop sign at the intersection with Md. 77. Fields-Jordan, who had the right of way, crashed her motorcycle into the pickup truck on the passenger side. The truck went into a tree and the driver fled the scene. Shrader — who had a list of previous convictions including two DUIs, driving impaired, and possession of drugs — was arrested a short time later. He had been using hallucinogens at the time of the truck motorcycle accident and said he couldn’t remember what happened.

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