To most of us, not using our phones while driving may seem like common sense. Nevertheless, there seem to be no shortage of distracted driving accidents reported on the news each day. Did you know that in 2018 there were more than 57,000 crashes in the state of Maryland that were the direct result of distracted driving? Out of those 57,099 crashes, 18,000 of them caused injury to nearly 27,000 people and 176 of those crashes were fatal, resulting in 189 deaths altogether.
Despite numerous education campaigns and increased police enforcement of distracted driving in the last few years, the numbers ballooned in 2018: up from 51,238 total crashes in 2014. In an effort to curtail such accidents and prevent further fatalities, Maryland passed Jake’s Law back in 2014, named after 5-year-old Jake Owen who was killed in a 2011 car accident caused by a distracted driver. The law states that a driver causing serious injury or death while talking on a handheld cellphone or texting may receive up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. These are primary offenses and police officers can stop drivers when those activities are observed, regardless of the presence of other violations.
The Maryland Highway Safety Office has offered some tips to help motorists avoid driving distracted:
- Use your cellphone for emergency situations only, and pull over when possible;
- If you are drowsy, pull off the road;
- Limit the number of passengers, as well as the level of activity inside the car;
- Avoid eating while driving;
- Do your multi-tasking outside of your vehicle.
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident as the result of a distracted driver, give Ferrante, Dill & Hisle partner Nicholas Ferrante a call today. Mr. Ferrante has decades of experience fighting Personal Injury cases on both sides of the fence- for insurance companies, and the little guys as well. He now takes that insider knowledge and uses it to his clients’ advantage. Your initial consult is free- call us today at (410) 535-6100 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.