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Distracted Driving Causes Maryland Car Accidents In Alarming Numbers

Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of traffic collisions. Car accident casualties and fatalities continue to increase on US roadways, prompting many states to enact harsher legislation against distracted driving. According to a May 30, 2017 press release issued by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) on BusinessWire, nine states recently joined the battle by passing laws that raise the fines and penalties for distracted driving – especially texting while driving. In another three states, a bill is awaiting signature from the governors in order to become effective. In Maryland, the law prohibits the use of any handheld phone while driving, including:

  • Sending or reading text messages or email;
  • Surfing the internet;
  • Taking a photo;
  • Checking weather or maps;
  • Reviewing social media;
  • Talking on the phone; and,
  • Any other activity involving the use of a phone.

A PCI spokesperson stated that measures such as Maryland’s districted driver laws are crucial in combatting distracted driving. Stronger enforcement, raising public awareness, and stressing personal accountability will also have a positive impact. However, these initiatives do little to accommodate the victims of car accidents as a result of distracted driving. Injuries and death are still occurring at an alarming rate.

 

US Statistics on Car Accidents Due to Distracted Driving and Texting While Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2015, 3,477 people lost their lives and another 391,000 were injured in car accidents involving distracted motorists; and,
  • In a given day, during daylight hours, around 660,000 motorists are using cell phones while driving – exponentially increasing the potential for accidents.
  • However, the most shocking statistics on distracted driving relate to texting: Reading or sending a text requires the eyes to focus on a smartphone for five seconds. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, that motorist has driven the length of a football field without his or her eyes on the road.

 

Statistics on Distracted Driving Accidents in Maryland

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has released its “2017 Distracted Driving Program Area Brief,” covering a range of different statistics on distracted driving in the state from 2011-2015. Details include:

 

  • On average, 27,000 people are killed or injured due to distracted driving;
  • Trends indicate that metropolitan areas are the most dangerous, with Baltimore and Washington, DC comprising 85% of all collisions resulting from distracted driving. Breaking down this figure:
    • 47% of distracted driving crashes occurred in the Baltimore metropolitan region;
    • 37.6% of the incidents happened in DC; and,
    • 15.4% of collisions occurred in other parts of the state.

 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Any activity that sidetracks a driver’s attention interferes with the primary task at hand, which should be to safely operate the vehicle. The types of driver distractions fall into four main categories:

  • Visual, where the motorist’s focus drifts to something other than the road and surrounding conditions;
  • Auditory, when a noise diverts attention to a factor unrelated to driving;
  • Manual, if the activity requires the operator to handle some object or device other than the steering wheel; and,
  • Cognitive, where the driver is thinking about a topic not related to operating the car.

Texting involves three of these distractions, and four if the phone has auditory features that might interfere with driving. Talking on the phone puts all four factors into play. Still, any one of these distractions interferes with the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, putting other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at risk.

 

Increased Frequency of Distracted Driving Means More Victims

With this heightened potential for car crashes comes an increase in the number of injured victims and deaths. If you are injured, it is not enough that the responsible driver gets a ticket or potential jail time. Your medical bills are piling up and you may be unable to work. Plus, your pain and suffering may be extreme, your mental health is compromised, and your relationships are impacted. You may even sustain a disability, and the costs of ongoing treatment in the future may be astronomical. Fortunately, state law does allow you to obtain compensation from the responsible driver. With an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney on your side, you can recover a financial award to cover your losses. A skilled lawyer can assist with:

  • Filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, stating the details of the accident, describing your injuries, providing information on your losses, and making a demand for compensation in the designated amount;
  • Engaging in settlement discussions with the insurance agent, with legal arguments and additional evidence intended to support the demand amount;
  • Initiating a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, including preparation of necessary documents and supporting information;
  • Appearing in court for status and motion hearings, settlement conferences, and pre-trial proceedings;
  • Managing discovery matters, such as requests for production of documents, requests to admit facts, written interrogatories, and depositions;
  • Working with experts on your case, including consulting and testifying witnesses that specialize in the medical concepts related to your injuries; and,
  • Preparing for and attending your trial.

Obviously, there is an enormous amount of work and preparation involved with any car accident case, including incidents resulting from distracted driving. Retaining a qualified personal injury attorney is the key to your success in obtaining the highest amount of compensation allowed by Maryland law. You need an advocate that will fight for your rights in dealings with an insurance company and in court. It is also important to hire a lawyer with comprehensive knowledge of the laws and procedural rules, as attention to detail can make or break your case. Plus, extensive experience in handling car accident cases is priceless. An attorney that has represented clients in numerous personal injury matters has skills that can only be learned, developed, and mastered in a courtroom.

If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one due to another driver’s distracted driving, please contact the Baltimore Maryland law office of Bob Katz today to schedule a no charge consultation to discuss your circumstances.

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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