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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's the problem. Humans are not always very good in emergencies. We can be overwhelmed and often fail to react fast enough or in the right way. We drive down the highway, we hit a spot slick with ice. Most drivers have been told that you always need to steer into the skid to allow the wheels to regain directional stability and your ability to steer.