Articles Posted in Car Accidents

A recent news report detailed a tragic accident that occurred in Caroline County, Maryland. According to the news report, the car accident involved two cars on Williamsburg Road. Initial reports revealed that a Nissan drove east when it crossed the center and struck a Ford F-450 head-on. The driver of the Nissan, a 44-year-old male, died at the accident scene. The crash is still being investigated and a post-crash analysis is being conducted.

Head-on collisions, although much rarer than other types of accidents, can have devasting impacts for the parties involved. While the reasoning behind these types of collisions can vary, some of the causes can include but are not limited to, mistakes that occur when driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, and mechanical issues with a vehicle. However, it may take some time to determine who the at-fault driver was in head-on collisions. This is because of the forceful impact that these crashes have, which may result in vehicles veering off to different parts of the roads and ending up in completely different orientations. Post-crash analysis can be pivotal to determining what lead to the accident and may involve the evaluation of skid marks and debris from the scene of the accident.

Head-on collisions can have devasting consequences including death, brain injuries, broken bones, and paralysis, to name a few. This can result in lost wages, limited mobility and a change in the quality of life, and other consequences. As a result, after such an accident you may be considering what legal steps to take to recover damages.

Intersections can be crowded and sometimes confusing for the various people who are traveling from one place to the next – including bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers of trucks and cars. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration revealed that more than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. What causes such a high rate of accidents at intersections?

According to a recent news report, a car crash in Germantown, Maryland led to one fatality and three people injured. The collision involved a truck and a Jeep, where a Ford was traveling southbound when a Jeep turned left. The Jeep struck the Ford F250 at the intersection. A man who was a passenger in the jeep was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the jeep was transported to a local hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, while the driver and passengers of the truck were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. According to photos tweeted by the county’s fire rescue Chief, a truck appeared to have crashed through a fence in the front yard of a house. The investigation into what led to the crash is still ongoing.

What are Some of the Reasons for Intersection Collisions?

Although intersection collisions can happen for a myriad of reasons, some of the common reasons include having an obstructed view of the area which may prevent a driver from having a full line of vision, illegally running a red light, illegally making a turn at the wrong time, miscalculating the movement decisions of other drivers, and distracted driving. There are some tips that drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists can follow to help keep themselves and others safe when at an intersection.

Every year, Maryland motor vehicle accidents cut the lives short of thousands of people in the state. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) reported 534 fatalities on Maryland roads in 2019. While the pandemic significantly reduced the traffic on the state’s roadways, reports indicate that fatal Maryland car accidents were up 12 percent from 2019 and 17 percent from 2018. The majority of Maryland traffic fatalities occur in Prince George’s County, Baltimore County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, and Baltimore City. Baltimore City likely experiences fewer fatal accidents because not many large trucks travel within the city limits.

The leading cause of fatal accidents is a result of an unsafe or sudden road or lane departure. Lane changes occur when a vehicle exits its lane and slams into another vehicle or object. These road and lane departures are connected to nearly 50% of all fatal accidents in the state.

For example, a recent local news report described a fatal two-car collision in Anne Arundel County. The accident occurred when a Chevy SUV driver tried to change lanes and was hit by Dodge Charger. The driver and passenger of the SUV died upon impact, and the other driver was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Riding a motorcycle is between 15 to 40 times more dangerous than driving a car, and each year dozens of motorcyclists are killed and thousands more are injured in Maryland car accidents. Motorcyclists should exercise extreme caution when out on the road, carefully obeying all traffic signs and laws. While motorcyclists might be tempted to shirk certain rules of the road, doing so could have a significant impact on a victim’s recovery in the event of an accident.

Given the elevated risk of being involved in a Maryland car accident, motorcyclists should be aware that in Maryland, contributory negligence in a car accident can dramatically impact a victim’s recovery. Although it might seem to contradict general wisdom regarding fault in an accident, even minor negligence by the victim can be used effectively by defense attorneys to counter plaintiff claims. A recent local news article discussed a fatal collision between a speeding police car and a motor scooter that occurred in June 2022 in Maryland.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when a 58-year-old Maryland man was riding a motor scooter through an intersection. The police car drove through a red light at the intersection as it was responding to a service call with lights and sirens activated, crashing into the motor scooter at high speed, ejecting the victim from the motor scooter. Officers provided aid to the victim until EMS arrived at the scene of the accident before he was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries. Ultimately, the victim’s injuries were too severe to be successfully treated and he succumbed to his injuries from the crash. The article states that the officer driving the police car suffered minor injuries, and does not mention that any charges have been filed against the officer.

Following a major accident involving criminal charges, some victims may believe that because the state will be criminally prosecuting the at-fault party, this is the same as filing a personal injury lawsuit and receiving compensation. In reality, the criminal prosecution led by local authorities and a civil personal injury lawsuit that a victim of an accident may bring are completely different cases—even though they may both implicate and arise out of the same set of facts from the accident. Understanding this difference is crucial so that you do not miss out on the compensation that you deserve.

According to a recent local news report, a major car accident involving multiple vehicles left at least one individual dead. Based on a preliminary investigation, a Mercedes failed to stop for a red light at an intersection and crashed into a Chevrolet. The Chevrolet then crashed into a Honda. Both the driver of the Chevrolet and the Honda were stopped at the intersection while waiting for the red light. The driver of the Chevrolet was declared dead on the scene and the driver of the Honda was transported to a local hospital by helicopter, where he later died. Based on this preliminary investigation, local authorities believe that speed and alcohol were both contributing factors to the accident. The details of the crash remain under investigation.

What is the difference between a criminal and civil lawsuit in Maryland?

Following a major car accident like the one described above, local authorities may prosecute the at-fault party if criminal wrongdoing, such as driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, was a contributing factor or the cause of an accident. The charges that local authorities bring against the at-fault party, however, do not involve compensation to the victims of the accident. Instead, they aim to punish or deter the at-fault driver through fines imposed by the government, jail time, community service, or suspension of a license.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) operates Zero Deaths, a government website designed to provide the community with statewide crash statistics, resources, and programs to assist in roadway safety programs. The MVA explained that the website seeks to assist the Maryland Highway Safety office meets its goal of eliminating roadway fatalities by 2030. The administrator believes that providing the public with user-friendly highway safety resources will help the state achieve its goals.

Zero deaths take a data-driven approach to reach its goal of zero serious injuries and roadway fatalities. The goal is critical as those who suffer injuries in a Maryland car accident often experience serious and life-long consequences. Those who lose a loved one or suffer injuries in a Maryland accident should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

How Many People Are Killed in Maryland Motor Vehicle Accidents?

The most recent data indicates that as of early April 2022, there have been 134 reported fatalities involving a Maryland motor vehicle crash. The data refers to “fatalities” as the total number of people who suffer fatal injuries in a collision; some fatal crashes involve more than one death. Maryland has experienced 124 fatal crashes as of early April. “Fatal crashes” refer to incidents in which at least one fatality occurred.

Following a major car accident, especially on a busy roadway, the danger of further damage is often not out of sight simply because the initial collision has already taken place. Sometimes, subsequent accidents happen after the cars involved in the initial crash pull over to the side of the road. For busy roadways or areas where there may be low visibility, it is not infrequent that another driver will crash into stalled vehicles pulled onto the shoulder, causing more injuries or damage to what already took place during the initial accident.

According to a recent local news report, Maryland State Police are investigating whether weather played a role in a recent accident that left one pedestrian dead and another seriously injured. Local authorities responded to a call reporting a crash on Maryland Route 16, where three vehicles had been involved in a major accident and two people were located lying in a nearby ditch with significant injuries.

Based on a preliminary investigation, both of the injured victims were riding in a Toyota Tundra truck that slid off the road next to the ditch and both individuals exited the vehicle. For unknown reasons, a Ford Escape stopped on the scene also. Moments after the Ford stopped, a Hyundai traveling in the same direction crashed into the back of the Ford, which sent it careening into the ditch. Accident investigators believe that the Hyundai then slid off the roadway and struck the two pedestrians who had exited their Toyota at the time. The Hyundai also ended up in a ditch. No other injuries were reported and the accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

Head-on car accidents take place when two vehicles moving in opposite directions crash directly into each other. Often, these accidents are deadly or result in significant injury and property damage. Although statistically less common than other types of vehicle accidents, they often account for a significant portion of deaths caused by car accidents because the vehicles are often going at high speeds and the impacts of these accidents result in devastating consequences.

According to a recent news report, a head-on crash between a pickup truck and a passenger van killed nine people last week. Officials reported that the truck collided with a 17 person passenger van carrying members of the men’s and women’s golf teams from a local university other head-on and caught on fire on a two-lane road. Two people who were in the pickup truck were killed, along with seven of the nine people in the passenger van. Among those who were killed, six of the victims in the passenger van were college students and one was their golf coach. Other students who were injured were flown to surrounding hospitals for treatment and were reportedly in critical condition. The accident remains under investigation.

What Are the Common Causes of Head-on Collisions?

Many head-on accidents frequently take place on two-lane roads, where there is only one lane going in each direction. This often means that if you are behind a slow vehicle, you must cross the center line—which may put you in the line of oncoming traffic—to pass the vehicle ahead of you. Unfortunately, many drivers end up in head-on accidents because they attempt to pass the vehicle ahead of them and instead fail to account for oncoming traffic and end up in a major collision. Although this is sometimes caused by reckless and speeding drivers, this also takes place because the driver could not see oncoming traffic or underestimated the speed at which oncoming traffic was moving. Poor road conditions and weather can also exacerbate these circumstances.

Recent studies by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report that 212,500 vehicle fires caused nearly 600 deaths and injuries in the United States in 2018. Key findings of the study indicated that mechanical failures, electrical failures, and collisions were the leading causes of vehicle fires. Vehicle fires caused 4.5 times the number of deaths as nonresidential structure fires and 1.6 times the number of apartment fire deaths. Those that suffer injuries in a Maryland vehicle fire should consult with an attorney to determine their rights and remedies.

The harrowing data imparts how critical it is for vehicle manufacturers to engage in safety measures to prevent vehicle fires. Recently, BMW announced a recall involving more than a million vehicles. The company cited issues with the engine ventilation system in these vehicles; the faulty system can cause the car to catch fire. The recall involves nearly 1 million sedans and SUVs in the United States and thousands more in other parts of the world.

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explained that these vehicles are prone to an electrical short in their valve heaters. Over time the irregularity can lead to overheating and even cause a fire. The fire can occur regardless of whether the car is driven or parked. The company advises drivers who smell smoke or burning plastic or view smoke wafting from the engine to pull over, shut the engine, and exit the car.

Sudden speed changes carry many risks for drivers and can result in a serious Maryland car accident. Sudden braking is a type of harsh driving that can put motorists at higher risk for a crash caused by overheating and wear and tear on tires. Most drivers can modify their behavior and reduce these dangerous events. However, the story is different for those operating driverless vehicles, such as Teslas. The driver may maintain little control over the circumstances leading to an accident in these cases.

Recently, federal auto-safety regulators began a preliminary investigation into sudden braking by advanced driver-assistance systems in Tesla vehicles. The investigation primarily focuses on 2021 and 2022 Tesla Model 3 sedans sold in the United States. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report documents over 350 consumer complaints over the previous nine months. Consumers reported that their Tesla’s suddenly braked when there were no road hazards. The claims explain that their vehicles “unexpectedly apply its brakes” while traveling at highway speeds. For many, the rapid deceleration occurred randomly, without warning, and repeatedly.

This latest concern only joins many other issues the car manufacturer has confronted over the past few years. Earlier this year, Tesla recalled over 50,000 vehicles equipped with the manufacturer’s “full self-driving software.” The recall was in response to reports that cars were rolling through intersections and stop signs without stopping. The company recalled the vehicles to disable this dangerous feature. Moreover, the company faces another investigation into its Autopilot system and a recall to correct a brake defect. Finally, the company agreed to disable a feature that allows front passengers and drivers to play video games while the car is in motion.

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