Alarming Accident Statistics in Maryland
Most residents of Maryland can agree that commuting is a necessary evil of modern living. We are required to spend time on the road to get to school, work, recreational sites, and elsewhere. What many commuters don’t realize is that in addition to being a bit of a pain in the neck, driving can be a surprisingly dangerous venture, as well.
Numbers Tell the Story
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commuters do, indeed, have something to worry about:
- In 2017, there were 550 traffic fatalities across the state. 75 percent of those occurred in urban areas, while another quarter of deaths were the result of rural accidents.
- Nearly 300 victims of highway fatalities were passengers, and just over one-third of them were not wearing seatbelts.
- More than one in ten fatalities was the result of a rollover accident;
- Roughly one-third of fatalities occurred in intersections;
- A quarter of fatalities involved alcohol impairment;
- Nearly 25 percent of fatalities were related to speeding;
- More than one in ten fatalities were motorcyclists;
- Over 80 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved individuals who were not wearing helmets.
Because highway travel is part of virtually everyone’s life these days, it behooves all of us to observe basic safety precautions, including:
- Buckling up: The NHTSA reports that taking this simple step saved roughly 14,000 lives in 2014 alone. The risk is real: take the time to protect yourself!
- Avoiding distractions: While drivers may be tempted to take care of a quick text while behind the wheel, NHTSA studies reveal that texting takes one’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. That’s like driving the equivalent of a football field at freeway speeds, with your focus on your phone!
- Passing on the left: Avoid trying to circle around someone on the right, and use the left lane for passing only;
- Accelerating on freeway ramps: Avoid causing traffic slow-downs by getting up to speed and merging carefully from ramps;
- Handling accidents appropriately: If you do have the misfortune of being involved in a traffic incident, be sure to pull over as far off the roadway as possible to avoid being involved in further disaster. Then be careful as you approach the driver of other vehicles, keeping an eye on fast-moving traffic on the roadway;
- Avoiding tailgating: Give yourself enough room to stop in the event the vehicle ahead of you suddenly surprises you!
- Following posted speed limits: Recognize that speeding will not impact your arrival time significantly, but will put you and others at greater risk of an accident;
- Keeping your Cool: Avoid getting frustrated with traffic and road conditions, and focus instead on arriving to your destination safely. Road rage benefits no one!]
- Avoiding impaired driving: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while fatigued, is extremely dangerous, and should always be avoided.
- Adjusting for weather conditions: It’s not necessary to drive at maximum posted speeds when visibility or icy roads make high speeds hazardous.
After an Accident
Even as a cautious and defensive driver, you cannot avoid every circumstance that could result in injury or death. In the event you or a loved one is the victim of another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, the experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC can help. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation today.