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Baltimore Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

U-turn into wrong lane causes fatal accident

A car accident in Maryland left one driver dead and two other motorists injured when a pickup truck failed to yield to an oncoming vehicle on Maryland Route 4 on Dec. 4. The sheriff's office in Calvert County is asking the community for assistance while it conducts an investigation. At this time, driver error and failure to yield are thought to have caused the crash.

According to a police representative, a Ford F-150 made a U-turn and went into the southbound lanes of Route 2/4 at about 5:35 p.m. as a Dodge Dakota was driving south on the roadway. The Dodge hit the Ford in the rear portion of the passenger side. Both vehicles ended on the shoulder of the southbound lanes after impact. The driver of the Dodge pickup, 28, suffered multiple injuries in the crash and died at the hospital. The driver of the Ford and a passenger were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. According to a sheriff's office representative, the Dakota driver did not have seat belt restraints in place when the accident happened.

Pedestrian critically injured by hit-and-run driver

On Nov. 23, a 24-year-old man in Maryland was injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. At the time of the accident, the victim and a friend were walking along the side of westbound Obrecht Road. At around 2:30 a.m., a 1996 Chevrolet Impala hit the victim from behind. Police say the driver of the Impala then continued to travel west without stopping. As is common with many car accidents, charges against the driver are pending review by the State Attorney's Office.

Following the accident, the injured victim was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He had reportedly sustained life-threatening injuries in the accident, though the exact nature of the victim's injuries is unclear. The man was doing better by the afternoon, and his condition was reported to be critical but stable.

Fractures and broken bones result from bizarre police chase

A recent bizarre police chase in Maryland led to several injuries. In the course of the accident, three police officers and one person on a scooter were injured, with at least one suffering fractures and broken bones. The police were attempting to stop the man driving the scooter when, somehow, the two vehicles collided. The details of exactly how the collision occurred were not immediately clear. 

Law enforcement officers reportedly approached a group of dirt bike riders. As they approached, the group dispersed, reportedly without donning required safety equipment. One member of the group apparently jumped onto the back of a scooter operated by another person. 

Drowsy driving crash claims 5 members of family

Driving is an often made up of compromise. We may want to travel to a certain location, but know it will take too long because it is too far away, or because traffic is too congested. When it is for something extraordinary, we may make exceptions. While we would normally never consider driving long distances at night for something mundane, for a vacation, we may decide it is worth the risk and hassle.

Some in the Baltimore area, for instance, may consider driving to a place like Disney World, nonstop. Google maps tells us it is only little more 13 hours, and it save the overnight cost of a hotel and it gives you an additional day to enjoy the park.

Northeast leads the nation in car accidents

It may not come as much of a surprise to drivers from Baltimore, up the Northeast Corridor to Boston, are more at risk of a car accident than anywhere in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the high levels of congestion on the roads and the omnipresent construction is part of the problem.

Distraction remains the top cause of crashes, which is why there is such an emphasis on the dangers of texting while driving. Other behavior can be equally distracting, but texting has been shown to be as distracting as being intoxicated with alcohol, and so warrant special attention.

AAA study estimates drowsy driving is serious problem

Drowsy driving is known to be a problem. Official federal crash statistics estimate that about 2.5 percent of all fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver. But those estimates are not considered very accurate, as determining if a driver was sleepy before a crash is difficult.

In fatal crashes, the driver cannot answer any questions concerning his or her condition prior to the crash, and for drivers who survive a motor vehicle accident, they may not realize they were drowsy or may be to reticent to admit to a police officer that they fell asleep at the wheel. 

Is the cure worse than the disease?

Last week, we discussed the problems with the Takata airbags that have been installed in millions of Honda, Toyota, BMW, General Motors and other car manufacturer's vehicles. The airbags can explode in such a manner as to spray the passenger compartment with metal shards that can be deadly. Four individuals have died in explosions traced to these airbag explosions in car accidents.

The large number of vehicles involved in the has created another problem. Not enough airbags. Even though issues involving these airbags have been simmering for a decade, apparently no one expected it would eventually grow as large has it has. 

Airbag recall has prompted congressional questions

Airbags have been a great help in reducing vehicles fatalities. Thousands of lives have been saved since airbags became standard on most vehicles. The airbag is triggered when a sensor detects extreme deceleration. This causes an explosive charge to fill the airbag in milliseconds, and it inflates and surrounds the vehicle's occupants and prevents them from violently jerking forward.

The good news is they work in the vast majority of instances, as they should. But during the last 10 years, some airbags from the manufacturer Takata have exploded and injured or killed motorists in the vehicles during car accidents.

This has now led to an enormous recall by auto manufacturers, which now stretches to encompass 7.8 million vehicles. 

Oh deer, its fall driving season

As the end of October and Halloween approaches and the leaves fall from the trees, you should remember to exercise additional caution as you drive about Maryland. The coming of winter means the number of hours of daylight will continue to shrink and more of your driving will involve the use of headlights.

Also of concern is the fact that sunrise and sunset now coincide with many commuters' drives to work and back home. Glare caused by the sun on the horizon can blind drivers and lead to sudden slowdowns on every type of road. 

October brings stricter texting law to Maryland

Texting and driving is one of the issues that is sufficiently new that while we suspect that there is a problem, and we have some anecdotal evidence of the dangers, we do not have the vast numerical conformation that would allow us to recognize just how bad things really are.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any given moment during daylight hours there are 100,000 drivers texting. They also estimate that 600,000 drivers are using a cellphone during that same period. Yet according to the hard numbers, there were only 3,328 highway fatalities linked to distracted driving.

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