Rockville Maryland Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

DC and Baltimore top dangerous to driving list

The Allstate Insurance Company annually compiles claims and ranks 200 metro areas across the country. With number 1 being the safest, the Washington, DC ranked 198 and Baltimore ranked 200, which is to say that we live in the most dangerous areas in the country to drive. These numbers should actually be no surprise to anyone who drives here on a regular basis, nor were they a surprise to Allstate, which ranked Washington, DC was 197 and Baltimore was 199 in 2017. The statistics are based on the number of collisions that involve property damage claims of any kind.

Inside these dubious numbers

Time saved by speeding not worth the risk

It is human nature to step on the gas pedal when you are running behind. The thinking goes: I need to go faster, which gets me to my destination sooner. Now research says otherwise, particularly in urban environments.

According to a study that examines time saved from driving faster versus risk involved, there is little empirical evidence of saving time in day-to-day urban driving, and a much higher risk of speed-related crashes that lead to injuries and death. The researcher examined naturalistic driving data collected from 106 drivers over a period of five weeks.

Maryland gains reputation as speed trap

Most Maryland drivers are aware of the fact that they no longer need to be pulled over to get a speeding ticket. According to a recent Washington Post article, the state issued 1.5 million tickets for speed camera violations for a total $62.2 million in fines. These cameras issue tickets between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily and are often set up near schools. The threshold for issuing a ticket is typically 12 miles over the speed limit.

Speed cameras a huge moneymaker for local jurisdictions

August 2 is the most dangerous day for car wrecks

It is not New Years Eve or July 4th. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the most dangerous day of the year to drive is August 2. This calculation is based on the fact that the highest number of motor vehicle related deaths (505) on one specific day occurred on August 2 from 2012 to 2016. Similarly, August is also the most dangerous month of the year to drive with 15,914 fatalities during that same period of years. This will be a revelation for nearly everyone.

Drivers simply let down their guard

Hit and run accidents on the rise

The AAA has announced that fatalities from hit-and-runs in the U.S. are at record highs. This is based on a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It announced that there were 2019 people killed in hit-and-run crashes in 2016, which is up 62 percent from 2009 (the last year that had a downward trend in deaths recorded). That number also makes 2016 the deadliest year since AAA started keeping track of the number of fatalities in 1975.

Many victims are pedestrians or cyclistsThe study also found that 65 percent of fatalities were pedestrians or cyclists. It also added that 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities involved hit-and-run. This is compared to 1 percent of driver fatalities.

Shortage of truck drivers could lead to more crashes

Unemployment levels are at historic lows, but that is not necessarily always a good thing. The trucking industry is currently facing a crisis where there are conservatively estimated to be 63,000 open positions. This number is expected to double in the coming years.

This will impact the economy because nearly every product manufactured and consumed will be freight in a truck at some point. But the other part of this equation is the fact that trucking companies are struggling to meet demands, which can mean overworked drivers getting pushed past legal limits for safety.

July 4 still one of the most dangerous days on the road

Many assume that New Years Eve is the best night to stay off the roads to avoid drunk drivers. However, Americans love to celebrate July 4th with family and friends. This often leads to long days in the sun eating and having fun. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the fun turns tragic with the 4th being one of the most deadly of the year for drivers and their passengers due to drunk-driving crashes.

The numbers

Why drivers can’t help being distracted

Most drivers understand that texting, using social media, playing a game or watching a video while driving is not safe behavior. Yet many still do it. The question is: Why?

A recent study at the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction now has answers for us. According to founder David Greenfield, the addictive nature of smart phones with its bells and pings make it hard for the owner to ignore them even when driving.

Obliviousness to wet weather can be cause of wrongful death

We can't control the weather. If we could, someone would turn off the rain spigot that has been drenching Montgomery County and the rest of the Washington metro area for the past week and bring an end to the precipitation.

Lacking power to change meteorological facts doesn't mean we are off the hook when it comes to safety in public. Drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists all have an extra duty of care when conditions make the going tough. Failure to do so can be seen as negligence and if disregard results in serious or fatal injury, the law says victims and/or surviving loved ones have a right to seek compensation.

Reckless driving is a crime in Maryland

It’s rush hour after work, and traffic is crawling. Except for one car: The driver is speeding, swerving between lanes and behaving irresponsibly to escape the traffic jam. This behavior is not just irresponsible—it is very dangerous.

In addition to causing physical and psychological injuries and damaging property or other vehicles, reckless driving is against the law. Many Marylanders don’t realize this, but reckless driving is a crime in our state. In Maryland, it is a misdemeanor offense that is taken very seriously.

Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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