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February 2017 Archives

Just how accurate are breath tests?

Over the past few decades, the fight to make driving safer for both vehicle operators and passengers has focused on reducing the number of people driving under the influence. The strategies used by law enforcement and the legislature have been broad, including public education, increased penalties for driving under the influence, and increased enforcement and detection. One of the keys to that success has been the rise of breath tests for drunk driving. As more and more data is gathered on those devices, though, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there are serious questions about their reliability and their results.

Traffic deaths soar to highest levels in almost a decade

After years of steady progress, the roads in Maryland and across the country are becoming far more dangerous. Traffic accident deaths increased by more than 7 percent in 2015, and data released by the National Safety Council on Feb. 15 indicates that this disturbing trend continued in 2016. The data, which the safety advocacy organization says could be revised slightly upward or downward in the coming months, shows that traffic accidents claimed 40,200 lives in 2016. The last time the accident death toll exceeded 40,000 was in 2007.

Traffic fatalities highest since 2007

During 2016, more than 40,000 vehicle-related deaths occurred in the U.S., which was the highest amount of traffic fatalities since 2007 according to the National Safety Council. Healthy economic conditions and lower gas prices were major factors that increased the amount of vehicles on roadways in Maryland and around the country that year.

Protection for Maryland car accident victims

When you get inside your vehicle to go to your job, run some errands or get to an appointment, the last thing on your mind is being involved in a wreck. Yet, in just a matter of seconds, you could find yourself an injured and confused victim of another driver's negligence and possibly in need of legal guidance.

Driving habits exposed in AAA survey

There are many stereotypes about millennials in Maryland and the rest of the country. However, when it comes to their driving, potentially negative perceptions about them may be true. According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, 88 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 admitted to risky behavior while driving in the past 30 days. Examples of these behaviors include texting while driving, running red lights or running stop signs.

What you need to know about motorcycle accidents and brain injury

The last few years have seen motorcycle laws around the country undergoing reform in a variety of directions. Partly, it is because of a changing understanding of the way sharing the road has to work for everyone to be safe. It is also driven by a variety of political efforts and by the popularity of the motorcycle as a fun, efficient, and effective method of transportation for so many people.

Family of U.S. Germanwings victims files wrongful death suit

Maryland travelers likely remember the horrific 2015 Germanwings plane crash that occurred when the co-pilot deliberately flew the aircraft into a mountainside. Now, the family of an American mother and daughter killed in the tragedy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Germanwings, parent company Lufthansa Airlines and United Airlines, the U.S. airliner that sold the victims their tickets.

Road safety group rates Maryland traffic laws

Maryland earned a medium grade of yellow from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in the trade group's annual survey of the nation's traffic laws. The yearly report for 2015, which was published on Jan. 31, rated states based on their traffic safety laws dealing with motorcycle helmet and seat belt use, teen driving, child safety, impairment and distraction.

Class-action lawsuit links Apple to distracted driving accidents

Government agencies and road safety groups in Maryland and around the country are concerned about a surge in the number of accidents involving distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked smartphone manufacturers to make their devices more difficult to use behind the wheel, and Maryland is one of several states to pass a law banning the use of handheld cellphones by all drivers.

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