Have You Been Hit by a Distracted Driver in Maryland?
There are over 120,000 car accidents in Maryland each year, and new research indicates that as many as 58% of them are caused by distracted driving. In a single month, Maryland state troopers issued 2,061 citations and 1,010 warnings for distracted driving. The Maryland Highway Safety Office reports that as many as 27,000 injuries and over 185 deaths in Maryland each year are attributable to distracted driving.
Why is this such an epidemic?
Life doesn’t stop while you are behind the wheel. Your phone still rings, your child cries in the back seat, you drop things–maybe you’re even trying to juggle a coffee and bagel in one hand while driving between errands and meetings. It’s easy to be a distracted driver. It’s much harder to be a focused driver. This is why it can be so frustrating when you are doing your best to obey all traffic laws and drive safely, and you are hit by someone who wasn’t paying attention.
Distracted driving can be harder to avoid than other types of reckless or dangerous driving, because it can happen at any time. Unlike drunk driving, where most accidents happen late at night, you can’t make a truly effective effort at being on the road when distracted drivers aren’t, because any driver has the ability to become distracted at any moment. For this same reason, it can be hard to spot or avoid distracted driver’s while driving, as a driver may drive responsibly until they are unpredictably distracted.
Do the statistics tell us anything helpful?
While all drivers are human and subject to being distracted, statistical data does indicate that those drivers most likely to be distracted are males between the ages of 21 and 29. Additionally, a Maryland driver is most likely to be involved in a distracted driving accident on Friday afternoons, between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Is distracted driving illegal?
Many forms of distracted driving are illegal, although it varies widely from state to state. In Maryland, it is illegal for all drivers to text or look at their phone while driving. It is illegal for drivers 18 years of age and under to talk on the phone while driving, even if the device is hands-free. Drivers over the age of 18 may talk only on hands-free devices.
Other forms of distracted driving may not be illegal, however, if they result in a car accident, the driver will be found liable based on their negligent conduct. For instance, it’s not illegal to pass a snack or toy to a fussing child in the back seat. However, if it distracts the driver, or requires them to momentarily take their eyes off the road, and results in an accident, they will likely be found liable for the accident.
Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a distracted driver in Maryland, it’s important to talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Maryland has a statute of limitations on bringing personal injury claims, so don’t delay getting the help and advocacy that you deserve. Contact the lawyers at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP and schedule your free consultation today.