Maryland Drivers Face Fines as High as $140 If They Are Caught Text Messaging

Although text messaging while driving is not considered illegal in Maryland, drivers could be fined if caught by police.

A recent survey by Nationwide Mutual Insurance found that 37% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 27 engage in text message while driving. This can make the roads more dangerous, especially as drivers in this age group have the least experience behind the wheel. 17% of drivers, age 29-44, send and receive text messages while driving.

In Maryland, a police officer could fine a texting driver up to $140 for the offense. The fine could be even larger if the texting causes the driver to become involved in a motor vehicle accident. The Maryland General Assembly recently rejected a proposal to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

According to Washington Representative Joyce McDonald, text messaging actually requires a higher level of consciousness and concentration than talking on a cell phone.

Recent accidents involving driving while texting:

• In Seattle, Washington, a 53-year-old driver caused a multi-car pileup on an interstate highway while using a Blackberry.
• In 2005, a 26-year-old died near Athens, Tennessee, after losing control of his pickup truck while text messaging on his cell phone.
• An 18-year-old Colorado resident was ordered to serve 10 days in jail after he ran over and killed a senior bicyclist. The Colorado driver had been driving and texting at the same time.
• A California man was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and gross vehicular murder while intoxicated. He had been text messaging someone while driving, just before he ran over a police officer with a pickup truck.

Text messaging while driving can lead to serious accidents and injuries—even death. A person who has been injured on the road because another driver acted negligently while text messaging should speak with an experienced attorney. As a victim of another’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. The liable party should be held responsible for your medical bills and recovery, and an experienced personal injury law firm can help you obtain the maximum recovery for your case.

Lebowitz and Mzhen is a personal injury law firm that represents clients in the Washington D.C. area and throughout Maryland who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or other type of personal injury accident. Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for your free consultation.

Md. Drivers Caught Texting Face Fines Up To $140,, March 31, 2007
‘Driving while texting’, Baltimore Sun, March 30, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Personal Injury Resource Center,
Car Accidents, Justia
Nationwide Survey Shows Startling Number of Americans Guilty of DWD (Driving While Distracted),
Nationwide Mutual Insurance

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