Articles Tagged with distracted driving

Maryland’s cell phone laws prohibit the use of hand-held cellphones and texting while driving. Despite these strict laws, we still see plenty of people talking on their phones and texting while driving. And that’s not all. Distracted driving includes anything taking the driver’s attention off the road, including eating; reading a book or newspaper; adjusting onboard infotainment systems; shaving, putting on makeup, and other act of personal grooming; attending to pets and children; and a host of other distracting activities.

Today’s modern vehicles have all the comforts and conveniences of home and office. Unfortunately, all these distractions can lead to auto accidents that could have been prevented.

Zero Deaths Maryland reports 115,916 Maryland traffic accidents in 2019, with 32,918 injury crashes and 48,656 people injured in those accidents. The group also reported 82,503 property damage crashes in 2019. With all the ways drivers can be distracted in their automobiles, it’s no surprise to learn that distracted driving is among the top causes of auto accidents in Maryland. While not the sole cause of accidents with injury and death on our roadways, distracted driving is at the top. The latest data from Zero Deaths Maryland shows…

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Many residents of Maryland kept their cars in park the last few months, due to statewide shutdowns of businesses and schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that restrictions are being lifted as the state slowly gets back to business, some motorists may find their driving skills have become rusty.

If you’re one of those Maryland drivers who’s feeling a little out of sorts behind the wheel, you’re not alone. The last few months of coronovirus restrictions saw a vast reduction in daily commutes and road travel. Now, with Maryland businesses reopening and people moving about more freely, drivers getting back behind the wheel may fall into old, bad driving habits. This, combined with sharing the road with new teenage drivers, could lead to increased motor vehicle accidents this summer.

What’s worse? A majority of motorists admit to knowing dangerous driving habits are wrong, but too many engage in them anyway. The AAA Foundation has released its findings from a national survey on the top dangerous driving offenses for 2019. To learn more about those—and the percentage of motorists admitting to them—read on….
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Maryland has some of the most restrictive distracted-driving laws on the books. The state banned the use of handheld devices while driving in 2013, making texting and talking on hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel illegal. However, one Montgomery County councilman feels the fines attached to those violations ($75 for the first offense, $125 for the second, and $175 for subsequent offenses) are not enough of a deterrent.

Earlier this month, Montgomery County council member Tom Hucker proposed a program to install distracted driving cameras on Maryland highways. Citing the 38,000 Maryland motor vehicle accidents a year resulting in serious injuries and death, Hucker says it is time to take more strident measures to curb bad distracted-driving habits. His proposal for cameras that could catch distracted drivers in the act would be the first-of-its-kind surveillance program in the country.

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Over the years, we’ve devoted several blog articles to the many causes of distracted driving. The main related offenses that can lead to serious and even fatal Maryland distracted driving accidents include talking on cell phones and texting, eating, applying makeup, adjusting the GPS, conversing with passengers (especially for teenagers), and handling children and pets. Yes, pets. It’s this last category we’ll take a look at today.

It’s hard not to smile at the sight of a dog hanging its head out the car window, tongue and ears flapping in the breeze, enjoying the ride with his or her humans. But as much as we Marylanders love to take our canine friends with us on a road trip, the presence of animals in the car actually poses a distracted driving risk. This can put the driver, passengers, and yes, our beloved dogs themselves, at risk of injury or worse.

In 2011, a AAA survey of people and their pet passengers revealed some results that should make all dog-loving drivers sit up and take notice. Continue Reading

Deaths due to motor vehicle accidents had been decreasing for several years, here in Maryland and across the U.S. However, last year that trend took a turn for the worse — with the deadliest traffic accident fatality statistics seen in decades. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reports that a total 35,092 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 — up 7.2 percent compared to 2014. Alcohol-impaired traffic accidents accounted for a significant number of fatalities, with 10,265 deaths resulting from driving under the influence (DUI) crashes in 2015. An average of 28 people a day were killed in DUI motor vehicle accidents in 2016.

A NHTSA spokesperson told CBS News, “We’re seeing these increases that we have not seen in 50 years. It’s tragic.” The government agency is trying to determine why motor vehicle accident fatalities are on the increase, after so many years of progress making our roads and highways safer and saving lives. And despite our state’s traffic safety laws, motor vehicle crash fatality statistics in Maryland are also trending in the wrong direction.

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STOP signs are the primary form of traffic control at U.S. intersections. As you drive through Maryland’s city streets and country back roads, do you come to a full stop at every stop sign? What about at intersections where you have the right of way, and the other guy has a stop sign? Do you still stop there, or just slow down enough to make sure the other driver stops? Or do you blow through the intersection and hope for the best?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), one-third of all US intersection crashes occur at crossings that have stop signs. The most common causes are drivers failing to stop for the stop signs, or stopping and then failing to yield to other vehicles, colliding at an angle. Obstructed vision (e.g., due to buildings, trees, or parked cars) is another frequent cause of accidents at intersections. However studies have shown that…
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