Articles Posted in Car Accidents

In 2023, Maryland roadway fatalities were at the highest the state has seen since 2007. In response, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicles Administration (MVA) recently announced several New Year’s resolutions aimed at reducing the number of accidents in the state. In a recent news article, an MVA administrator discussed the agency’s plan to prioritize Maryland drivers’ safety in the new year.

How is the MTA Trying to Reduce Car Accidents?

First, the MVA has asked Maryland drivers to create a MyMVA account, which allows drivers to access their vehicle information in real time. For example, MyMVA displays drivers’ REAL ID status, emission deadline, and copies of correspondences between drivers and the MVA. The account also allows drivers to complete transactions online, which eliminates the need to go to a branch office in-person. Similarly, the MVA has advised enrolling in Maryland Mobile ID. This smartphone application helps drivers keep their personal information secure, including their driver’s license or other state-issued identification card. The MVA hopes to expand this service in the new year.

The MVA has also asked drivers to take several steps to ensure their vehicles are road-ready. First, the MVA has instructed drivers to check for vehicle recalls, which an authorized dealership will repair for free. Staying up-to-date on vehicle recalls allows drivers to ensure their vehicles are working properly, which may reduce the risk of an accident caused by a vehicle malfunction. Drivers should also understand roadside safety and make sure their vehicles are in good working condition. Finally, drivers must find the right seats for children. Not all car seats are appropriate for all children. Factors like the child’s age, height, and weight may impact the car seat that will best protect your child in the event of an accident.

Hit-and-run accidents are often characterized by several distinct elements. Common characteristics include the accident having very few witnesses and or poor lighting, as the driver is more likely to believe there will not be repercussions for their behavior. If there are many witnesses or the scene is highly visible, people are less likely to flee the scene of a crash. Similarly, drivers are much more likely to flee the scene of an accident between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., than between 8:00 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. This is due to a host of reasons, but one explanation is that nighttime drivers generally engage in more risky behavior.

What Is the Definition of a Hit and Run Accident?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines hit-and-run accidents as collisions in which at least one person involved in the crash departs the scene of the crash before offering any (or sufficient) information or aid to the other involved person(s) or fails to properly report the crash. Hit-and-run accidents are a major issue for many reasons, but in particular, they can increase the severity of outcomes given delays or the complete absence of medical attention for the victims. As of 2017, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that both the rate and fatality levels of hit-and-run collisions are on the rise. There were an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015. This translates to a hit-and-run crash happening somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds. The 2,049 fatalities that resulted from hit-and-run crashes in 2016 were the highest number recorded up to that point.

A recent news report described a serious Maryland hit-and-run accident. According to the reporting by Fox Five Washington D.C., the accident occurred around 9:00 pm on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2024, near the intersection of Landover Road and Neighbor Lane. By the time police officers responded to the scene of the crash, the man was unresponsive. Prince George’s County police are seeking the driver who left the scene of the hit-and-run. Authorities state that the man found at the scene was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The danger of not wearing your seatbelt is compounded when a truck or other large vehicle is involved in the crash. That goes for people in the large vehicle as well as others on the road. Bigger vehicles like trucks and SUVs are larger than other vehicles and often transport more passengers or cargo. That means that large automobiles can become difficult to maneuver in emergency situations, preventing drivers from turning or stopping suddenly due to the weight of their vehicle and cargo. Even without heavy cargo or large trailers, big vehicles are heavy, making accidents involving them inherently dangerous. Additionally, long-distance drivers are under extreme pressure to spend significant hours on the road, as they may have to meet delivery deadlines. This can lead to exhaustion and impaired judgment on the roads. Tired drivers are more likely to make mistakes when driving, increasing the likelihood of accidents. It is vital to wear your seatbelt while on the road and stay aware of large vehicles that could be merging onto your road. A recent news article discussed a serious multi-vehicle accident.

According to the local news article, the accident happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, along westbound Liberty Road in the area of Westminster, Maryland. Law enforcement investigators said that the driver of a Chevy Equinox was attempting to make a left turn onto Skidmore Road when a Saturn rear-ended the vehicle. The collision forced the Chevy into the eastbound lanes of Liberty Road and the Chevy was struck by a Ford F-350. A number of individuals were pronounced dead at the scene, and two victims of the crash were flown to a nearby hospital, where one later passed away. Following the crash, all the westbound Liberty Road lanes remained closed while the Maryland State Police Crash Team continued with its investigation.

How Much Car insurance Do You Need in Maryland?

Maryland maintains minimum insurance requirements for drivers in the state. Minimum insurance requirements are designed to ensure sufficient compensation is available to victims of car accidents should it be required. As a result, Maryland drivers are required to purchase at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $15,000 in property damage liability coverage.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle-related incidents are a leading cause of line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement officers in the United States. However, according to the CDC, such accidents are highly preventable. From 2011-2020, 454 officers died due to motor vehicle-related incidents, both struck by and crashes, which accounted for 33% of all line-of-duty deaths in those year excluding COVID-19 deaths. It is important to promote motor vehicle safety among officers so they can stay safe while working to make communities safer. According to the CDC, behavior-related hazards for officers include not wearing a seat belt, speeding through intersections, being distracted by electronics while driving, and experiencing tunnel vision from increased stress. It is vital for officers to make a conscious effort to reduce such behaviors, as it not only threatens their own lives but the lives of those around them as well. A recent news article discusses a car crash involving a Maryland State Trooper driving through an intersection.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when the trooper was traveling southbound on St. Charles Parkway on the evening of Thursday, September 14 shortly after 5:00 PM. The trooper was traveling with emergency equipment activated and came to a full stop at the intersection of Billingsley Road on St. Charles Parkway when a Toyota Corolla traveling eastbound on St. Charles Parkway struck the trooper’s unmarked Ford Explorer. Both the state trooper and the driver of the Toyota Corolla were transported to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata for treatment of their injuries. According to investigators, impaired driving was not believed to be a factor in the crash. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Does Negligence on My Part Affect My Case?

Contributory Negligence is the legal concept preventing victims in an accident from receiving recovery for their personal injuries if their negligence contributed to the accident at all. Simply put, even if the negligence of the operator of another vehicle is largely responsible for the motor vehicle accident if the victim was even slightly negligent, it is possible they will not be able to recover any compensation. In Maryland, contributory negligence is interpreted broadly, allowing minor negligence by the victim in personal injury cases to defeat even very strong plaintiff claims.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only dangerous but highly illegal. The chances of crashes and fatal accidents increase when drivers are inhibited because they are less able to react to situations that come up on the road or exercise poor judgment while driving. Unfortunately, Maryland drivers are all too familiar with the dangers of drivers operating their vehicles under the influence. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland drivers reported driving after drinking at a higher rate than the national reporting rate. In fact, between 2009 and 2018, 1,515 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes in Maryland. The CDC has found that over 10,000 people per year die in such crashes throughout the country.

Does My Negligence Affect My Maryland Car Accident Case?

Contributory Negligence is a legal concept that potentially prevents plaintiffs in an accident case from receiving recovery for injuries resulting from a crash if their negligence contributed to the accident to any degree. Essentially, even if the negligence of the operator of another vehicle is largely responsible for the accident if the plaintiff was even a little negligent, it is possible they will not be able to recover compensation. In Maryland, contributory negligence is interpreted very broadly, allowing minor negligence by the plaintiff in personal injury cases to defeat even very strong claims. A recent article discussed a local fatal crash where the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

According to the news article, the accident occurred in the evening on Friday, September 29, around 7:30 p.m. A passenger SUV with four people in it was heading east on Whitmore in Bowie, Maryland when it left the road and crashed into a tree. The SUV became engulfed in flames when it struck the tree, and by the time paramedics and EMTs arrived on the scene, all four people inside the car had died. The cause for the SUV’s sudden departure from the road and into the tree is still under investigation by the Prince George’s County Police Department. Police investigators not only closed off the road to continue conducting their inquiry, but the police spokesperson said they expected to be working late into the night trying to identify the four bodies, as the fire that engulfed the SUV made identification much more difficult.

When a child is injured in a car accident, a parent’s worst fear comes true. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 63,000 children suffered injuries in a car accident in 2020. Issues such as ill-fitting booster seats and riding without a seatbelt have worsened those statistics. Fortunately, parents and caregivers can take a few extra precautions to ensure their child is as safe as possible in the event of a car accident.

Sadly, four children and one adult suffered injuries after a serious vehicle accident in Waldorf, Maryland. As a news article reported, the accident occurred on the southbound side of the highway. Emergency personnel responding to the accident found two damaged vehicles with multiple injured occupants. Two ambulances transported three children and one adult to the hospital for their injuries. A fourth child, who suffered head injuries, was medically evacuated by chopper to the hospital. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

How Can You Keep Your Children Safe in a Car Accident?

Parents can follow a few steps to protect their children in case of an accident. First, make sure your children use a seat belt. In the event of a car accident, seat belts can often be the difference between a minor and major injury. If your children refuse to wear a seatbelt, try to explain the importance of wearing one for their safety. For small children, wearing a seatbelt is only the first step to preventing serious injury. In addition to wearing a seatbelt, make sure to place your children in a car seat. Small children may not be able to wear a seatbelt without the boost of car or booster seat. The right car seat for your children will depend on their age, weight, and height, and it is important that the seat is the proper size.

A recent report from the Maryland government roadway fatality reduction initiative, Zero Deaths Maryland, indicates that Maryland is currently on track for a higher number of roadway fatalities in 2023 than in 2022. At this time last year, Maryland had 321 roadway fatalities reported, while currently Maryland has 353 roadway fatalities reported. Since 2018, the number of fatal crashes in Maryland has gradually increased year by year. In 2018, there were 485 fatal crashes, but the total rose to 546 by 2020.

There are various causes of fatal automobile accidents, including the size of the vehicles involved and whether any of the vehicle operators were impaired. According to Zero Deaths Maryland, the state has been relatively stable when it comes to fatal car accidents involving driver impairment and overall accidents involving impaired drivers. In 2017, Maryland had 170 driver-impaired fatal crashes while in 2021, the state had 154 driver-impaired fatal crashes. Similarly, in 2017 there were 6,654 total driver-impaired crashes, while in 2021 there were 6,522.

Accidents involving large seized vehicles such as trucks or RVs and campers are also inherently more dangerous than other types of crashes for a number of reasons. Trucks, especially semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are heavier and larger than standard passenger vehicles, resulting in more serious accidents when they are involved in crashes. Additionally, the conditions that many truck drivers operate under force them to drive extreme distances, resulting in fatigue. Finally, shipping trucks are also potentially carrying hazardous cargo, complicating truck crashes and accidents. While many people intuitively understand the greater risks involved in truck accidents, they may not know that according to the statistical analysis organization Policy Advice, truck accidents have increased by 52% since 2009, and 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle accidents include a large truck. A recent news article discussed a local fatal truck crash.

In today’s fast-paced world, speed seems to be a common theme both on and off the roads. Unfortunately, the consequences of speeding can be devastating, especially when young and inexperienced drivers are involved. A recent tragic incident in Leonardtown, Maryland serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers associated with speeding and young drivers.

According to a local news report discussing the tragic collision, emergency services were called to a horrific head-on motor vehicle collision on Newtowne Neck Road in Leonardtown, Maryland on July 26, 2023. The collision involved a 2013 black Kia Rio and a 2015 silver Dodge Durango. The Dodge Durango was being driven by a 39-year-old individual with two passengers. Despite the chaos, all three occupants of the Durango survived the collision with non-life-threatening injuries.

Tragically, the news was not as favorable for the occupants of the Kia Rio. The driver, a juvenile male, was flown to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. However, the young passenger,a 14-year-old boy, lost his life in the collision. This heart-wrenching incident underscores the need for heightened awareness of the dangers posed by speeding, especially for young and inexperienced drivers.

Maryland, like many other states across the country, sees its fair share of car accidents every year. Understanding the common causes of these accidents is crucial for both policymakers aiming to improve road safety and drivers looking to protect themselves and their loved ones. Below, we delve into some of the most prevalent causes of car accidents in Maryland, in the hopes of raising awareness and potentially reducing their frequency.

  1. Distracted Driving: In the era of smartphones and constant connectivity, distracted driving has emerged as a major concern. Texting while driving, using apps, or even just glancing at a notification can lead to a loss of focus. Even a few seconds of distraction can be enough to cause a catastrophic accident. It’s not just phones though; adjusting the radio, eating, or any activity that diverts attention from the road can be hazardous.
  2. Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limits or driving too fast for conditions remains a significant cause of accidents. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to steer safely around curves, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to dangerous situations.

Speeding is a massive cause of car accidents throughout the country. Some estimates project that speeding is a contributing factor in over a third of all accidents nationwide. Approximately 41 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to frequently or sometimes driving 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit on the highway (roads with speed limits over 55 miles per hour). An additional 37 percent of drivers admitted to driving 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit on residential streets (roads with speed limits over 30 miles per hour) in the past 30 days.

How Does Speed Impact the Seriousness of a Car Accident?

Unfortunately, the probability of death or serious injury rises with impacts at higher speeds. According to some estimates, the risk of serious injury or death doubles for every ten miles per hour over 50 miles per hour that a vehicle is traveling. As a result, pedestrians and bicyclists struck by cars driving 40 miles per hour are eight times more likely to die than a pedestrian or bicyclist struck at 20 miles per hour. A recent news report detailed a fatal car accident.

According to the news report, the fatal accident occurred on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in the early afternoon in Mechanicsville. At 1:44 pm St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Patrol deputies were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash on Three Notch Road near the intersection of Mr. Zion Church Road in Mechanicsville. When law enforcement officials arrived on the scene, they found multiple vehicles involved in a significant crash, with two cars overturned. Three vehicles were involved, a white 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, a silver 2008 Toyota Camry, and a silver 2000 Toyota 4Runner.

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