We’ve all been there: You’re approaching a yellow light so you begin to slow down when the person behind you guns the accelerator, passes you on the right, and speeds through the now-red light. Or maybe you’ve witnessed drivers who seemingly don’t understand the point of speed limits as they weave in and out of crowded traffic at 90 mph. This type of driving not only puts the car’s driver at risk but everyone that they are on the road with as well. This behavior is known as aggressive driving and causes scores of unnecessary accidents every year. Learn more about aggressive driving in today’s blog.
Archive for the ‘ Driving Laws ’ Category
Maryland law has begun to crack down on distracted driving and for good reason: with the advent of cellphones, GPS systems, and other technology, it is now easier than ever to get distracted for a few moments which is all the time it takes for an accident to occur. It is estimated that around 25% of all accidents were caused due to some form of distracted driving. Learn more about what constitutes distracted driving, the penalties, and consequences in this week’s blog.
While Maryland’s current laws concerning cell phone use have been in place for nearly two years, many motorists are still under the impression that cell phone use is a secondary offense. However, using your cell phone while driving is actually a primary offense in Maryland, meaning you can be pulled over and ticketed for it. Learn more about Maryland driving law as it relates to cell phone use, in our blog.
Accidents in parking lots are not uncommon. Traffic goes in multiple directions, and often needs to maneuver in a confined space. This situation requires all drivers to be highly attentive to what’s going on around them at all times. A lapse in attention can result in an accident.
So who is at fault in a parking lot accident? Learn more in our blog.
With the ever-increasing popularity of smart phones and other handheld devices, distracted driving has reached a critical level. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents and poses a great risk to both those participating in it and those who are not on the roads. In order to avoid a potentially deadly car accident, learn more about distracted driving and how you can help put a stop to it.
An estimated 25 percent of car accidents involve some form of distracted driving, whether those distractions are visual, manual, cognitive, or a combination thereof. When you are a driver who uses a handheld device while operating your vehicle, you increase your chances of getting involved in a car accident by up to four times. Distracted driving involves a wide range of activities, including…
-Texting/talking on a cell phone
-Reading a map, directions, etc.
-Changing radio stations/CD tracks
-Reaching for items in the back seat/passenger seat
Any number of these activities could lead to you becoming involved in a serious car accident, so it is important to avoid distracted driving altogether. And not only is it important, but it is the law: Maryland’s Jake’s Law tackles distracted driving by prohibiting the use of handheld phones while driving. If caught talking or texting on your cell phone in Maryland… (more…)
Maryland state troopers and the Department of Transportation have partnered together in order to crack down on distracting driving this month. Distracted driving has been described by many as an “epidemic;” countless people talk on the phone, text, or are otherwise distracted on the road, which puts every driver at greater risk for a car accident. Read on to learn more about what the state plans for its April campaign to stop distracted drivers and how you can stay safe behind the wheel.
The main goal of state troopers this month is to stay on the lookout for drivers that are not paying attention while out on the road. Regardless of what the distraction itself is, distracting driving is a dangerous habit to get into, and no matter how difficult breaking that habit may seem, it is absolutely vital that it is done. Troopers will try to help put a permanent stop to distracted driving by ticketing those drivers whose behavior is putting other people at risk on the road.
The car accidents caused by distracted driving can not only lead to injury and severe damages, but they can also prove to be fatal. According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, distracted driving car accidents in 2013 alone led to over 3,000 deaths. A good third of this number were teens or young adults, Foxx said, and the primary form of distraction was determined to be texting. In distracted driving car accidents that were not fatal, 424,000 people sustained some kind of injury, ranging from minor to severe.
How Can I Help Put a Stop to Distracted Driving and Reduce the Risk of Car Accidents?
While the Maryland state troopers and Department of Transportation will be putting forth their own efforts this month to stop distracted drivers, you can do your part as well. If you know you are often distracted by your phone, for instance, make a pledge not to use it while you are behind the wheel. If this is a challenge for you, make it easier by putting your phone on silent and storing it in the glove compartment for the duration of your drive. No phone call, text message, or email is worth putting your life and others at risk. If you are expecting an important call and know you must answer it, first pull over into a parking lot or somewhere else that is safe, stop your car, and then proceed with your call as normal. You can also encourage your friends and family not to drive distracted!
Maryland Car Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, please call Bruce Robinson & Associates. Your consultation with our trial lawyers is free and if we can help you, your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis, which means no out of pocket fee or expense to you. For a free consultation with our experienced trial lawyers, contact Robinson & Associates at 410.415.3841 or click www.marylandaccidentattorney.com today for your free consultation. We look forward to helping you!
Up until now, Maryland law has not allowed for car accident victims to seek punitive damages in cases involving a drunk driver. This means that injured individuals could seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages incurred by their accident, but that they could not actually pursue a route of punishment for the at-fault driver who put them at risk in the first place. But with a recent bill that has been approved by the State Senate moving on to seek approval from the House, this could soon change. Read on to find out more.
The Maryland State Senate recently approved a bill that would change the structure of a typical car accident case. Instead of merely being able to file claims for medical care and pain and suffering damages, victims of drunk drivers would also be able to file claims for punitive damages. Punitive damages punish the at-fault driver by requiring they pay, essentially, for their negligence, and these payments act as a deterrent towards similar behavior in the future. (more…)
Even Maryland’s safest drivers can be at some risk while on the road. Add in the kinds of factors that distract drivers from what they are doing, and this risk increases exponentially. So how can we, as Marylanders, stay safe and keep others safe while driving? The key is to avoid the pitfalls of distracted driving, and Bruce Robinson & Associates is here to help you learn how.
To say that someone is a “distracted driver” can cover any number of causes of that distraction. Most people break down the types of distractions into three different categories, which can overlap depending on the exact nature of the secondary activity. Visual distractions are those that take your eyes off of the road in front of you, i.e. looking at a smart phone screen or reading handwritten directions. Manual distractions are those that take your hands off of the wheel, i.e. reaching for food/drink or changing the radio station. Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind off of driving and your surroundings, such as speaking to someone else in the car or simply “zoning out.” As you can imagine, these three categories have a lot of shared territory: checking your voicemail, for example, takes both your eyes off the road and your hand off the wheel, while you are also more focused on the call you’ve missed than the road ahead of you.
What are the Distracted Driving Statistics in Maryland?
Distracted drivers in Maryland accounted for almost 24,000 car accidents according to a 2008 study. Texting, specifically, was singled out as one of the most harmful distractions a driver could partake in, increasing the risk of a crash by a whopping 23 times that of non-distracted driving. In those approximately 24,000 car accidents caused by distracted driving, there were 35 deaths and over 11,000 injuries sustained.
These kinds of numbers show that distracted driving is simply not worth the risk. When you are operating a vehicle, the whole of your attention should be devoted to the task at hand. If a phone call or text message is really so important that it must be addressed immediately, pull off to the side of the road (when it is safe to do so!) and park. It may seem like an inconvenience or as though it is a waste of time, but when the alternative is risking the safety of yourself and others on the road, it will be well worth it.
Maryland Car Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident due to a distracted driver, texting driver or any other reason, call Bruce Robinson & Associates. Your consultation with our lawyers is free and if we can help you, your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis, which means no out of pocket expense or cost to you. For a free consultation with our experienced trial lawyers, contact Robinson & Associates at 410.415.3841 or click www.marylandaccidentattorney.com today for your free consultation. We look forward to helping you!
So far in 2014, there have already been 449 incidents involving injured emergency responders. Most people are not aware that the “Move Over” law even exists, and those who know about it frequently do not observe it. It can be tough for officers to actually catch those in violation of the “Move Over” law since they are generally otherwise occupied with whatever the situation is that has them on the side of the road in the first place. After an accident has occurred on a roadway, there is an increased chance of another accident occurring shortly after because of people’s tendency to stop and see what happened. “Rubber necking” frequently results in accidents that are worse than the original accident – and can also cause problems for first responders to an accident.
What Does the “Move Over” Law Expansion Constitute?
The law already states that you should move over into a lane that is not adjacent to an emergency vehicle (i.e. police car, fire truck, ambulance) when that vehicle is responding to an emergency. If it is not feasible for you to move over due to traffic, then you are required to slow down to a “reasonable” speed – obviously the wording is extremely subjective, but we digress. The expansion will include not only emergency vehicles, but also tow trucks. In order to avoid a ticket, we suggest that you start moving over for tow trucks now. The sooner you start following this law, the easier it will be for you to remember to do it once they start pulling people over. Legislators are currently discussing how they plan to have officers enforce the expanded law in the coming months.
Troopers managed to issue 1,165 citations this past June for the original “Move Over” law, which took effect in October of 2010. For the safety of road workers, emergency vehicles, and other first responders, it is best to adhere to this rule. Additionally, if a police officer pulls you over for not abiding by this law, he/she is predisposed to be angry in the first place; do not add fuel to the fire.
Maryland Accident Attorney
If you are a first responder and have been injured as a result, you need to find a good accident attorney lawyer. Your consultation with our lawyers is free and if we can help you, your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis in the case that you are not at fault and are injured, which means no out of pocket expense or cost to you. For a free consultation with our car accident lawyers, contact Robinson & Associates at 410.415.3841 or click www.marylandaccidentattorney.com today for your free consultation. We look forward to helping you!
Source: LVFD 1
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has largely been banned across the United States. Providing your BAC is under .04%, you generally will not have any significant consequences, but above that, you will generally receive either a DUI or a DWI. Yes, the legal limit published to the public is .08 but in reality it is closer to a zero tolerance. If you have alcohol on your breath you will be asked to exit from your automobile and if/when you fail the field sobriety tests you will be arrested. Once arrested if you blow a .04 or .05, you are still charged with DUI because the police are not going to just let you go and waste all that time. Moreover, if you “fail” the tests adequately, a judge could be convinced of your guilt and therefore find you guilty of DUI on a .04. It is for that reason that we really have close to a zero tolerance but the government just doesn’t say that because of the restaurant lobby and other forces that would be against such a maneuver. Having said that, it is much simpler with alcohol to say “if your BAC is .08 or above, you are intoxicated” than it is to determine this same issue with weed – which officials in Colorado and Washington are finding out. The interesting thing about this is that lawmakers are trying to regulate how much pot you can have in your system and still drive. Being “high” on pot however looks a little different on everyone, and therefore creating regulated marijuana driving laws can be challenging.
Thresholds for THC Levels
At present, Colorado and Washington State have “per se” laws. These laws state that if a person has more than five nanograms of THC per mL of blood, they are considered to be under the influence. Most times, those who smoke marijuana have less than five nanograms of marijuana in their system within 24 hours. However, that means that you would have to wait 24 hours after smoking marijuana to drive – many times after the impairment effects have worn off. Chronic users sometimes will not fall below five nanograms for three days or more, though. Consider this: those who smoke regularly could have to wait a full three days to drive after partaking in marijuana. Sound crazy to you? It should.
The drug affects everyone differently, which means that someone who only has one nanogram of marijuana in their system may be much more impaired than someone who has five nanograms. The whole thing is very subjective and will probably continue to be that way for years to come. However, legislators are forced to come up with marijuana driving laws that “work” for everyone, ie. One size fits all. When that happens, strange results can occur and the wrong people can get caught up in the net. Hopefully scientists and lawmakers will start working together to stop the taboo on marijuana and start actually giving people the facts. That way drivers will better understand how weed will influence them on the roads and how the laws will actually reflect what needs to be done for safety on the roads.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyer
It is important to also note that Colorado’s rate of fatal deaths has decreased in the past year since marijuana was legalized. We advise that you do not partake in any mind altering substance before driving, as it may result bad consequences in addition to a lawsuit against you. If you are involved in an accident involving a mind altering substance, you should contact our lawyers who focus in criminal law as well as car accident injury law.
Your consultation with our lawyers is free and if we can help you, your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis in the case that you are not at fault and are injured, which means no out of pocket expense or cost to you. For a free consultation with our car accident lawyers, contact Robinson & Associates at 410.415.3841 or click www.marylandaccidentattorney.com today for your free consultation. We look forward to helping you.