Any time you travel on the city streets and highways in and around Baltimore, there is always the risk that you may be involved in a collision with another driver. Unfortunately, many times other drives make a decision to operate a vehicle in a way that makes them less safe, and posing a serious threat to others on the roadways. This can include drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence and those who attempt to drive while distracted by a smartphone. Just how common are these occurrences happening here in Baltimore?
Drunk Driving in Baltimore
Drunk driving has been a serious issue in the United States for decades, and research has demonstrated that Maryland drivers admit to recently driving while intoxicated at a rate slightly higher than the national average.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of drivers who were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland soared from around 450 to more than 550 over the course of a single year. However, those numbers represent drivers who were found to be drunk and who were pulled over, often before they could cause any damage.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that, in the decade between 2003 and 2012, there were 1,716 people who lost their life in car crashes that involved a drunk driver in Maryland. The vast majority of these victims were in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 21 and 34. Unfortunately, the CDC's report found a disturbing trend: 2.1% of adults in Maryland admitted to driving while intoxicated in the past 30 days. This was 0.2% higher than the national average.
Distracted Driving in Baltimore
Drivers who are distracted by smartphones and other mobile devices are a serious problem in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland. In 2011, 231 people in Maryland were killed and another 29,050 were hurt by distracted drivers in our state, including by those who were texting and driving. How seirous is the issue of distracted driving? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that those who text while driving have a 23% greater chance of getting into an accident than those who do not.
Maryland prohibits all drivers in the state from texting while driving, and also prohibits drivers from using hand-held cell phones in the state. The statutes relating to texting and driving can be found at MD Code, Transportation § 21-1124. Importantly, and unlike in some other states, Maryland's texting and driving laws are primary offenses, allowing police officers to pull over texting drivers, even if they are not doing anything else wrong.
Drugged Driving in Baltimore
Just like alcohol, drugs can impair vision and motor function, rendering a driver less safe on the roadways. "Drugged" driving can refer to controlled substances, but also prescription and over-the-counter medication. Even individuals who are taking medication prescribed to them can be impaired. The problem has gotten so bad here in Maryland that Maryland's Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit focused on the issue of drugged drivers and their impact on road safety in our state. One of the key takeaways from the Summit was the need for more and better data on how drugged drivers operated and how they made the roads less safe.
Baltimore Car Crash Representation
The property damage, medical bills, and lost wages resulting from a car accident can take a devastating emotional and financial toll on victims and their families. If you have been hurt due to the carelessness of another driver, let our experienced team of trial attorneys fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.