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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Crash on Maryland 31 proves fatal

Law enforcement officers with the Westminster Police Department are investigating a fatal wreck on Maryland 31. The accident, which claimed the life of a 74-year-old Westminster woman, took place on April 27 near Uniontown Road.

Sources report the accident involved three vehicles. A 31-year-old man driving a 2002 Saturn was reportedly heading northbound on Maryland 31 when he allegedly failed to slow for stopped traffic at a red light. Police say he then collided with a stopped Toyota Corolla being driven by a Westminster man. According to officers, the force of that collision caused the Saturn to then veer off into oncoming traffic, where his car then struck the 74-year-old woman's 2016 Dodge head-on.

Texting and driving is not the only cause of a distracted driver

Using a cellphone without a hands-free device and texting and driving are two activities that are often associated with accidents attributed to the negligence of a distracted driver. Along with many other states, Maryland has prohibited those practices. However, according to the National Safety Council, using a hands-free device may be just as dangerous.

Buying a car with the latest hands-free technology built into the vehicle might seem like a safe alternative to driving while holding a cellphone. A majority of motorists appear to believe it to be a safe way to talk on a cellphone, according to the NSC, but the real factor contributing to a distracted driver might be the conversation and not the phone.

Cancer diagnoses hampered by potential inaccuracies

Maryland patients may benefit from new technology that seeks to make up for inaccuracies in diagnostic processes. Although one in seven males suffer from prostate cancer, current techniques for diagnosing the disease commonly fail to catch it in time for effective treatment due to its lack of early symptoms. Annual prostate cancer screenings, often referred to as PSA tests, have also been known to result in false negatives in patients who actually have cancer.

Statistics say that prostate cancer claimed the lives of more than 27,000 men in the United States in 2015. To improve prognoses for suspected cancer sufferers, multiple startup firms have invested in diagnostic technologies known as liquid biopsies. Instead of using invasive tissue samples to hunt for cancer markers, these tools rely on the fact that cancer cells often release small quantities into the bloodstream.

Car crash injures 12 in Maryland

At least 12 people were injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles in Montgomery County on April 3. Four of the injured were children.

According to authorities, the incident took place on the northbound side of Interstate 270, between Routes 121 and 109 in the evening hours. The accident, which involved at least five vehicles, left one person trapped in a car and who had to be extricated by rescue workers. One woman suffered serious injuries. Seven other people, including the four children, were taken to various hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Large truck accident statistics

When a large truck is involved in a traffic collision in Maryland, occupants in other vehicles are much likelier to be killed than are people involved in passenger car accidents. Because of the inherent dangers of large trucks, the federal government has stringent regulations in place to reduce the risk of accidents. Despite those rules, far too many accidents involving large trucks happen every year.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,168 large commercial vehicles, which includes buses, were involved in crashes that proved to be fatal in 2013. This was an increase of 3 percent over 2012.

Woman sues hospital over wrong site surgery

Many Maryland patients have been the unfortunate recipients of wrong-site surgeries and other types of surgical errors over the years. A recent case in New England has focused attention on this important issue.

A woman went into a hospital for the removal of a cancer-stricken rib in May 2015. At some point after she was put under anesthetic and prepared for surgery the medical personnel treating her became confused or misdirected in some fashion, and they removed the wrong rib. Although there is evidence that they realized their mistake quickly and tried to bring the woman back for further surgery immediately, the contention of the injured woman was that they were not forthcoming with information about what had occurred and lied to her in an attempt to conceal the error.

Maryland crash victim seeks to help others

A woman who got into a serious accident when she was 17 because she was texting while driving is hoping that others can learn from her mistake. After taking her eyes off of the road momentarily to read a text message, she crashed into a flatbed truck and had to be transported to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

As a result of the accident, she is unable to sleep, cry or smell in a natural manner. She is also blind in her left eye and had to endure months of physical therapy and reconstructive surgery on her face. In addition, she had to spend time in a mental hospital after the crash due to depression. Her education was also impacted as the then-high school senior now learns at a 10th grade level although she hopes to go to college someday.

Front crash prevention a good idea

Maryland residents who are getting ready to buy a new vehicle should opt to get one with front crash prevention. An available option, front crash prevention systems include collision alerts or automatic braking, both of which have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of rear-end collisions and injuries.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reviewed collision data for models with the options versus the identical models without them installed. It found that cars with automatic braking systems reduced the percentage of police-reported rear-end collisions by 40 percent while frontal collision alerts reduced them by 23 percent. The IIHS reports that if all of the vehicles on the road had automatic braking systems installed, there would have been approximately 700,000 police-reported rear-enders in 2013 alone. The IIHS is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to convince automakers to make the systems standard rather than optional.

Khatri test more accurately diagnoses tuberculosis

Maryland residents may not realize that tuberculosis is still a risk for many in the United States and around the world. In fact, the disease kills more than 1.5 million people every single year and it is estimated that one-third of the world's population is infected. However, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have developed a blood test that could diagnose the disease more accurately than traditional skin prick tests.

The problem with the skin prick test and other blood tests is that they cannot distinguish patients that actively have the disease from those who have since recovered. Although doctors can look at a patient's sputum, or a mixture of mucus and saliva, but this can be difficult for the patients to produce when needed. The new test, called the Khatri blood test, looks for a gene expression "signature" that can distinguish patients who currently have active tuberculosis from those who have latent tuberculosis.

Fatal car accidents on the rise in 2015

Based on statistics from the first nine months of 2015, Maryland drivers may be more likely to be in a fatal car accident than in previous years. From 2000 to 2014, fatal motor vehicle accidents declined over 22 percent around the country. There were 23,796 in the first nine months of 2014, but in the first nine months of 2015, that number rose to over 26,000.

Regionally, there were significant differences in the percent increase with the Northwest showing an increase of 20 percent, the Southeast 16 percent, and 2 percent in the mid-Atlantic and South Central states. In contrast, in 2014, overall traffic deaths went down 1.2 percent from the previous year.

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