Most of us are probably guilty of going just a smidge over the posted speed limit a time or two. Left for work or school a little late and decided to push it a bit to win back those couple of minutes. But did you know that in 2018 alone there were over 10,000 speed-related accidents reported in the state of Maryland? Of those 10,635 crashes, over 3,300 of them caused injury to nearly 5,000 people and 71 of those crashes were fatal, killing 76 individuals altogether.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers a crash to be speed-related if the driver was charged with a speed-related offense or if an officer determines that racing, driving too fast for the conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor to the crash. According to the NHTSA, speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around turns or objects in the road, extends the distance necessary to complete a stop and increases the distance a car travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.
Speed Laws in Maryland
Maryland has two types of speed laws: a “basic speeding law” and “absolute speed limits”. The basic speeding law prohibits driving that is unreasonable or unsafe given the driving conditions. Basically, this law means drivers must always remain aware and vigilant, and always drive safe. What safe means will vary from situation to situation. For instance, driving 55 miles per hour (mph) on a sunny day down MD 2/4 in southern Calvert might be safe. But if it’s dark, rainy and the road is icy, 55 mph may not be such a safe bet.
Maryland’s absolute speed limit law isn’t open to as much interpretation as the basic speeding law. This law stipulates that the if you drive faster than the posted speed limit, you’re in violation of the law. Unless otherwise posted, Maryland’s absolute speed limits prohibits drivers from going faster than:
- 15 mph in Baltimore alleys;
- 30 mph in business districts and on undivided highways in residential areas;
- 35 mph on divided highways in residential areas;
- 50 mph on undivided highways in non-residential districts; and
- 55 mph on divided highways in non-residential districts
Penalties for Speeding in Maryland
As in most cases, the penalties for speeding varying given the circumstances. In general, speeding tickets carry fines and can add points to your driving record. Fines range anywhere from $90 to $530 per violation and can add anywhere from one to five points to a driving record. In general, fines and points can increase if a speeding violation contributed to an accident. Additionally, a reckless driving conviction could be added to a speeding violation if a driver was found to be “in wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Typically, a first offense reckless driving convictions carries up to $1,000 in additional fines.
Let Us Help
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident as the result of a speeding violation, 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.