Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Anyone who has driven the urban streets of Baltimore City, its surrounding highways, and our country backroads knows—there's a lot more going on behind the wheel besides simply driving. Distracted driving in Maryland and throughout the U.S. has become as much a threat to public safety as drunk driving. And while drunk driving accident fatalities have declined in recent years, distracted driving crash fatalities have risen, with texting while driving largely to blame.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2013, more than 30,000 people in the U.S. were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Distracted driving—which includes cell phone use while driving, texting while driving, and using other electronics such as GPS devices—took a heavy toll:
- 3,154 people were killed and approximately 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the U.S.
- 10 percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes
States including Maryland have passed laws to discourage people from using cell phones and texting while driving. In fact, Maryland has some of the tougher laws in the country, prohibiting the use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving.
Despite Maryland's distracted driving laws, we still see drivers stopped at a red light or speeding past us on the highway with their eyes down, looking at their cellphones. Other forms of distracted driving, such as eating, grooming, reading, or interacting with passengers and pets in the car, can also lead to deadly motor vehicle accidents.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) sheds some light on the problem of distracted driving in Maryland. In 2013...
- 52,734 distracted driving crashes occurred in Maryland
- Of those, 18,066 crashes involved injury and...
- 166 people died in Maryland distracted driving accidents
While motor vehicle accident numbers in Maryland have declined in recent years, distracted driving remains a contributing factor in 58 percent of all crashes in Maryland. In addition, the MVA reports that injuries are high in distracted driving crashes, with Baltimore and Washington Metropolitan Areas contributing to nearly 84 percent of the region's distracted driving accidents. (Note: The MVA states that Baltimore Metropolitan area is comprised of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties; while Baltimore City as designated by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.)
So what does this mean for you if you're involved in a Maryland traffic accident with injuries or fatalities caused by a distracted driver? The best advice we can give you is, don't go it alone.How a Maryland Injury Attorney Helps Clients Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents
Let's say you were driving home from work on the Baltimore Beltway and you got sideswiped, sustaining injuries and totaling your car. The other vehicle's young driver was not only texting while driving, but he had other young passengers in the car (a significant factor in distracted driving cases, particularly among teenagers and people in their 20s). You would think the odds are stacked in your favor, given texting while driving is illegal in Maryland. You would think you don't need a lawyer. You would be mistaken. Here's why....
Maryland is one of the few states in the country with Contributory Negligence laws on the books. These laws mean that if you are found to be even a fraction of a percentage responsible for your motor vehicle accident in Md., then your claim will be denied and you will receive no compensation or damages for your injuries. (For more on Maryland's Contributory Negligence law, see our FAQ article on 5 Reasons Why You Need a Maryland Accident Injury Lawyer.)
Though they may seem unfair, these laws make it very easy for injured parties who don't work with an attorney to unknowingly trip themselves up—especially when it comes to talking to insurance companies. This is why an experienced Maryland motor vehicle accident attorney can represent your interests and help you secure the compensation and damages you are entitled to.
Here at the Law Offices of Butschky & Butschky, we have more than 25 years' experience navigating the Maryland courts system. We know how the insurance companies and the courts operate. We know how the other side's attorneys operate, too. We know the ins and outs of these distracted driving accident cases, and we can handle all the research, paperwork, claims, and court representation for you in a highly professional manner. Let us fight for your rights, so you can concentrate on recovering from the car accident and moving on with life.
We represent clients throughout Baltimore County, with offices in Baltimore City as well as in Sparks, Maryland. We are also happy to work with clients from Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, and others in the region. Our Sparks office is convenient to clients in Hunt Valley, Lutherville, Timonium, and Bel Air.
Please call us today to discuss your distracted driving car accident in Maryland, including cases involving texting while driving. Call us in Baltimore at (410) 625-1121, in Sparks at (410) 472-3651, or toll-free at (800) 722-6616. Or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you.Sources:
National Institutes of Health
Trends in fatalities from distracted driving in the United States, 1999 to 2008
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
2015 Maryland Distracted Driving Program Area Brief (PDF)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Traffic Safety Facts – Research Note (April 2015)
Distracted Driving 2013 Research Note (PDF)