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.
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.
Four people in Maryland were injured in a crash on Jan. 1. The accident occurred in Harwood at around 2:00 p.m. at Mill Swamp Road and Solomons Island Road when a Lothian man driving an SUV reportedly tried to pass vehicles. The man lost control and drove into the grass next to the street before returning to the road, crossing the center line and hitting a 2007 Mercedes Benz E550 traveling north.
People who use smartphones while driving in Maryland and other states may be affected if a lawsuit filed against Apple succeeds in setting a legal precedent to hold companies accountable if they fail to use their technologies to improve safety. Apple, the owner of FaceTime, is being sued over a fatal car collision that occurred in 2014. The driver responsible for the auto accident was using FaceTime at the time of the crash.
Maryland residents may have heard about the speed filter on Snapchat. This feature allows Snapchat users to display their speed while they live stream video. Snapchat says that it tries to discourage people from using the speed filter while driving. However, warning messages saying, 'do not Snap and drive" have not been enough to deter some people.
Data suggests that about one in three Maryland residents get fewer than seven hours of sleep each night. This is a problem because studies have found that drowsy drivers are involved in accidents at rates similar to those who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. One such study was released on Dec. 6 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and it reveals that individuals who sleep for only four or five hours in the 24 hours prior to driving are four times more likely to crash than people who get at least seven hours.
As the winter holiday season approaches, many Maryland families will be hitting the road to visit relatives or see the sights in other states. Some may have heard that. although there had been a decline in nationwide traffic fatalities for several years, 2015 saw an increase of more than 7 percent from the previous year, the highest jump in nearly 50 years.
Being safe on the road means understanding the ways that different vehicles perceive their place in traffic so that you know when you need to look out for other drivers. Even the most careful and conscientious operator has a hard time overcoming large blind spots or mechanical restrictions on their ability to start and stop quickly. That is why it is important to understand the differences between big rigs and passenger cars on the road - so that you can be conscientious about steering clear of dangerous situations.
Two women were treated for critical injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma following a one-car accident on Oct. 30. The incident took place along eastbound Interstate 68 in Allegany County at around 5 p.m. When Allegany County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived at the scene, they concluded that weather conditions and excessive speed were contributing factors in the wreck.
Aggressive driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. In fact, according to a study by AAA, this behavior led to more than half of the traffic fatalities from 2003 through 2007. While most associate aggressive driving with "road rage", there are many other types of behavior that motorists in Maryland and around the country frequently exhibit that can be classified as such.