Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

The Baltimore County City Council passed an act concerning speed cameras designed to thwart motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents that occur in school zones. Bill 61-09 Speed Monitoring Systems, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2009, authorizes county law enforcement, in consult with other agencies, to use and enforce citations issued by speed monitoring systems in school zones.

The bill defines “speed monitoring systems” as “a device with one or more motor vehicle sensors producing recorded images of motor vehicles traveling at speeds at least 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.” Drivers will be subject to a $40 fine. An amendment to the bill limits the number of cameras to 15. The one councilor who dissented felt that more police — not speed cams — was a better way to address the problem.

In addition to the county bill targeting speeders in school zones, a separate state law now allows speed cameras at work zone sites; two have been placed in Baltimore County — one on I-695 at Charles Street and another on I-95 between I-895 and White Marsh Blvd.

Labor Day traditionally heralds the end of summer. It’s an opportunity for family and friends to get together one more time before diving back into the fall season’s school-and-work grind. Not surprisingly, this long holiday weekend typically sees a spike in alcohol-related traffic accidents nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is ramping up its public awareness safety campaign in an effort to reduce the number of Labor Day car, truck, and motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities. Called “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest,” the campaign brings together law enforcement and public safety advocates to drive home the message that drunk driving is not an accident, nor is it a victimless crime.

The DOT reports that last year, 40% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred over Labor Day weekend were due to drinking and driving. Law enforcement will be cracking down on impaired driving this holiday weekend for drivers of all types of vehicles including motorcycles, cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

We started seeing them around the middle of August: Pickup trucks with open flatbeds overflowing with randomly packed furniture (often an old couch poised precariously). Vehicles with luggage, boxes, and all sorts of things loosely strapped to roof racks and flapping in the breeze. Pieces of all of the above on the side of the highway — and sometimes in the roadway itself.

Then, there are the cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs that go whizzing past you with the backseats, hatchbacks, and passenger compartments filled above the window tops with stuff. It’s amazing there’s any room for the driver.

It’s the start of the annual back-to-school pilgrimage made by students attending college or university in Baltimore, Maryland and across the mid-Atlantic. And you don’t have to be a Maryland car accident attorney to know an accident waiting to happen when you see it. The fact of the matter is poorly secured loads on the outside of vehicles, as well as unsecured cargo inside the car, are a real hazard to motorists on our nation’s highways.

A 28-year-old woman driver faces charges of running a red light in a Baltimore, Maryland traffic accident last Thursday involving Olympic gold medal swimming champion Michael Phelps. According to the Baltimore Sun, the accident occurred Thurs. Aug. 13 around 9 p.m. at East Biddle and North Calvert Sts. The woman, driving a Honda Accord, allegedly ran a red traffic light, striking a Cadillac Escalade driven by Phelps.

The woman suffered slight personal injury in the Baltimore traffic accident and was treated for neck and shoulder injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She must have been even more embarrassed when she learned that she struck the vehicle of one of the world’s most famous Olympic athletes.

Phelps and his three passengers were not injured, though the driver’s side airbag deployed and the front of his Escalade was damaged. Phelps was raised in Rodgers Forge, Baltimore County, and now lives in a condominium in the Baltimore waterfront neighborhood Fell’s Point. The Baltimore Police Department told the Sun that Phelps presented an invalid Michigan driver’s license to officers. Phelps was given a $40 citation and will need to appear in court. He also told police that he had one beer an hour before the accident. No Breathalyzer test was given. A car or truck accident with an outsized SUV like Phelps’ Cadillac Escalade could have been a lot worse. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in this traffic accident involving a driver running a red light.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 614 Maryland car accident deaths that occurred in 2007, pedestrian deaths numbered at 116. That’s 116 people who died trying to get to where they were going on foot — whether it was to school, to work, to the store, to walk the dog, or to visit a neighbor or friend. Maybe some were just trying to get home. They didn’t make it.

For the same year (2007), across the U.S., 4,654 pedestrians died and an estimated 70,000 or more were injured in motor-vehicle related pedestrian accidents. (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts: Maryland 2003-2007)

As experienced Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers, we know what can happen when walkers find themselves in the wrong place, at the wrong time — in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Have you ever traveled on the Baltimore Beltway or another Maryland roadway and noticed your fellow drivers engaging in activities other than steering the 4,000-pound SUV beneath them? Car crashes caused by drivers reading the newspaper, fiddling with the stereo, putting on makeup, and chatting on cell phones — only to lose control of their vehicles or miss a road obstacle and crash — are sadly, nothing new.

Now we traffic-frazzled Maryland commuters can add texting to the list of distracted-driving activities that can cause serious car, SUV, motorcycle and truck accidents. Highways aren’t the only places texting poses a risk — a teenager texting a friend while driving down their quiet neighborhood street could cause a fatal car pedestrian accident.

A recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that texting (i.e., typing and sending messages on a cell phone or wireless hand-held device) while driving is even more dangerous that previously thought, and that texting has indeed become the most dangerous of all distracted-driving activities.

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!

This past Memorial Day weekend, hoards of Baltimore, Maryland, and other Mid-Atlantic residents and visitors traversed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The dual-span bridge is one of Baltimore’s most memorable historic landmarks and the subject of picture postcards. It’s also been the subject of controversy surrounding its maintenance, repair and safety, and the site of Baltimore traffic accidents — some of them deadly.

If you live or work in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area and you use the bridge to get where you need to go, you’ve no doubt been driven crazy time and time again by the bottlenecks that occur on the Bay Bridge. You’ve experienced headaches and frustration due to the ongoing redecking and restoration project, which causes officials to close lanes in spans of the bridge. If you don’t like heights, being stuck in a traffic jam over the water isn’t your favorite place to be. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we’re aware of the legal cases that arise following traffic accidents on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

For example, a current lawsuit in the news concerns a fatal car crash that occurred on the Bay Bridge in 2007. The families of three men killed in a multi-car accident are suing the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and a number of drivers for $19 million. The accident occurred when a trailer being pulled by an SUV disconnected, setting off a chain reaction that involved multiple vehicles. Three men were killed and five other people suffered injuries.

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

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