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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Many distractions for teen drivers

Many states, including Maryland, have laws prohibiting texting and using a handheld cell phone while driving. But the problems of distracted driving, which killed over 200 people in Maryland in 2011, go beyond the use of electronic devices, especially for teens. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, 27 percent of teens reported that they sometimes change their clothes and shoes while driving. Other behind-the-wheel activities included changing contact lenses, doing homework or putting on makeup.

Although 40 percent of teens in the study also admitted to texting while driving, this figure is lower than in previous studies, suggesting that texting awareness campaigns may be working. The study asked teens to provide information about their driving habits and then to participate in a driver's education class that simulated the risks and difficulties of multitasking behind the wheel. After taking the short class, students were somewhat better at recognizing the risks of distracted driving, suggesting that classroom interventions may be helpful in addressing this problem. Other studies show that parents also play an important role in encouraging teen driving safety.

Maryland laws prohibit texting

Under Maryland state law, drivers are not allowed to use handheld devices while driving. This law especially applies to cell phones, which are often used for texting and directions. Texting while driving poses a serious risk for you, your passengers and other drivers because when you are texting, you are not devoting your full attention to driving.

If you are injured in a car accident it may be a good idea to work with our firm to pursue compensation. For example, if you believe that texting might have contributed to your accident, whether or not the other party was engaged in that activity at the time of the crash may be tracked by using phone records after an accident. However, it may be very difficult to obtain these records without professional legal help.

Man facing criminal charges following chain-reaction crash

A man who is believed to have caused an eight-car chain reaction accident in Maryland is now facing criminal charges as a result. The accident reportedly occurred in Baltimore County along York Road on March 2.

According to officers with the Baltimore County Police, a 71-year-old Lutherville-Timonium man caused the major accident while driving his Nissan Murano north on York Road. The driver allegedly was speeding when he struck a BMW 325 and a Jeep that were both stopped at the road's intersection with Shawan Road, setting off a chain-reaction accident.

Female passenger killed in collision

A 59-year-old female passenger was killed by a car accident that occurred in Maryland on Feb. 26. The crash happened at approximately 8 p.m. in Middletown, nearby Ridge Road. According to police, a 25-year-old man driving a 2012 Dodge Ram was traveling west on Route 40A before he crossed over onto the eastbound side of Ridge Road. He collided head-on with a 67-year-old Middletown man driving a 2008 Toyota Corolla.

The driver in the Corolla was transported to the hospital to receive medical treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening. The woman riding in the Corolla was also taken to the hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Investigators believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in causing the collision. According to local reports, charges against the driver who caused the crash are currently pending. Maryland State Police were still investigating the incident as of later that evening. In order to investigate the crash and clear the scene, authorities closed Route 40A for more than three hours.

The cost of impaired driving in Maryland

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone is killed in an accident involving an impaired driver every 51 minutes on average. These accidents have an economic impact of $59 billion per year in the United States. Overall, 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities occurred in accidents involving impaired drivers in 2012. Of the 1,168 traffic deaths involving children under the age of 14 in 2012, 20 percent of those deaths were caused by drunk drivers.

More than half of the children who were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver during that year were in the car with the driver who was impaired. Among drivers who were killed in a car accident, 18 percent of them were found to have drugs such as marijuana and cocaine in their systems. In some cases, these drugs are used in combination with alcohol.

Sobering statistics about motorcycle accidents

Maryland residents are likely aware that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, but they may be surprised to learn just how hazardous traveling on two wheels can be. While motorcycles make up only tiny fraction of the vehicles traveling on the nation's roads, riders are approximately 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident per mile traveled than passenger vehicle occupants.

While the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles in 2013 was 6.4 percent lower than the 2012 death toll, this type of collision still claimed 4,688 lives. Approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents i that same year.

Car accidents and shoulder fractures

Many people in Maryland are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents each year. Some of these incidents may result in significant fractures to the bones that comprise the shoulders.

The shoulder is made up of three bones connected by muscles, tendons and ligaments. In the front of the chest lies the clavicle, and along the back lies the scapula. These two bones are connected to the joint bone which provides the socket for the arm. In a high-speed accident, chest injuries can result in breaks of all three, as well as torn muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Joan Rivers' daughter files medical malpractice lawsuit

Maryland residents might be interested in a medical malpractice claim that was filed by Melissa Rivers, daughter of the late comedian Joan Rivers. On Jan. 26, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the doctors and clinic that treated her mother shortly before she passed away on Sept. 4. According to the claim, doctors at an endoscopy clinic in New York failed to recognize that Rivers had stopped breathing during what should have been a routine procedure.

The lack of oxygen caused Rivers to suffer brain damage, which ultimately resulted in her death. The claimant also alleges that negligent operating room staff snapped photos of Rivers while she was unconscious and failed to obtain informed consent for all of the procedures that they performed on her. Further, Rivers' weight was not recorded before she was sedated, and a doctor left the operating room in an apparent effort to avoid being linked to the incident.

Rear-end collisions and whiplash

Minor car crashes are common for Maryland residents. Most minor accidents result in very little damage to either the car or the occupants. However, injuries can occur in even minor accidents.

Suddenly being thrown forward and backwards during a rear-end collision is a major cause of whiplash. The American Chiropractic Association describes whiplash as a sprain of the neck. In the violent whip-like motion caused by the car being jolted, the neck is forced through a movement that can tear ligaments and muscles. Symptoms of whiplash are localized pain and difficulty in moving the neck. Many individuals also experience headache and dizziness.

Parents sue hospital for $36 million over water birth

New parents living in Maryland may not know that on Jan. 14, an Oregon couple filed a $36 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a Portland hospital system, claiming a botched water birth caused their son's cerebral palsy. The boy was born in December 2011.

The lawsuit alleges that Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, which is part of the Legacy Health System, incorrectly told the plaintiffs that water births were less risky than traditional births. The suit also claims the boy's mother was wrongly told that she was a good candidate for a water birth when her son should have been delivered via C-section. The complaint also accuses the hospital of not having a supervising obstetrician overseeing midwives and nurses during delivery.

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