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Distracted Driving in Maryland

Distracted Driving is a growing problem not only in Maryland but across the country. Today auto drivers are constantly under the threat of being distracted whether by phone calls, text messages or simply by tuning the radio. This slide presentation exhibits the most common dangers associated with distracted driving and the laws in Maryland that attempt to prevent it and further fatalities.

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Distracted Driving in Maryland

  2. 2. Distracted Driving in Maryland Distraction is a part of our daily lives. Between text messages, emails and phone calls, it can seem like we are constantly being bombarded with some form of correspondence from work, friends or family members. However, if there is one place that we should strive to be free of these common distractions, it’s behind the wheel of an automobile.
  3. 3. How Big Is The Problem? Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration reports that distracted driving contributes to 58 percent of vehicle accidents in Maryland.  Distracted driving accidents frequently lead to injuries and fatalities.  Nearly 40 percent of all accidents involving distracted drivers resulted in injuries.  Every year, these crashes take the lives of roughly 30,000 people.  Between 2009 and 2013, 46.4 percent of all Maryland distracted driving crashes took place in Baltimore.
  4. 4. Types of Distraction The CDC lists three different types of distraction: visual (taking eyes off the road), physical (taking hands off the wheel) and cognitive (taking your mind off the act of driving). Activities that lead to distracted driving include:  Talking, texting or emailing on a cell phone  Eating  Grooming  Talking to other passengers  Using the car stereo  Using a GPS or navigation system
  5. 5. Who Is A Risk? In a 2011 survey, 69 percent of drivers in the United States said they had talked on their mobile phone in the past 30 days.  31 percent said they had texted while driving.  Younger, inexperienced drivers might be more likely to drive while distracted.  In another study, the CDC found that nearly half of all high school students texted or emailed while driving.  Almost 40 percent of all distracted drivers involved in vehicle accidents were under the age of 30.
  6. 6. Multitasking and the Science of Distraction Some people have an inflated sense of their ability to multitask. However, studies indicate that very few people are able to divert their attention to multiple tasks at the same time.  Only 2 percent of the population can effectively manage multiple tasks at the same time.  Even the act of listening diverts a driver’s attention from their focus on the road by around 37 percent.  When a driver traveling at 55 miles per hour takes their eyes off the road for just five seconds, they will have covered the length of a football field.  Using your phone while driving can increase your risk of a vehicle accident by three times.
  7. 7. Hands-Free Is Not Distraction-Free Many people mistakenly believe that using hands-free technology eliminates the threat of distracted driving. Engaging in a conversation impairs a driver’s cognitive abilities, even if their physical and visual focus isn’t devoted to their phone. A driver’s reaction time can be greatly reduced by using hands-free technology.
  8. 8. Tips For Eliminating Distracted Driving Take these steps to avoid causing a distracted driving accident.  Self-impose a “no phone” rule while behind the wheel.  Consider putting your phone in the back seat to eliminate the temptation to talk or text.  Use your cell phone only in emergency situations.  If you want to use your phone, find a safe place to park.  Keep the activity level and number of passengers in your car to a minimum.  Never eat while driving.
  9. 9. Maryland Law on Distracted Driving  Maryland law prohibits drivers from texting and talking on cell phones.  Exceptions are made only for emergency calls - 911, ambulances, hospitals, law enforcement, etc.  First-time offenders face the possibility of an $83 fine, second-time offenders face a fine of $140 and third-time offenders face a $160 fine.
  10. 10. Jake’s Law In December of 2011, a distracted driver in an SUV travelling 65 miles per hour rear-ended another car, killing a 5-year-old occupant named Jake Owens. This collision led to the passage of Jake’s Law in 2014, which imposes harsher penalties for distracted drivers who cause serious injuries. Offenders can face up to 3 years in jail, a $5,000 fine and 12 points on their driver’s license.
  11. 11. Have You Been Injured By A Distracted Driver? Distracted driving is preventable. If you or loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident in Maryland, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. Steven H. Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer”, is a respected Baltimore distracted driving car accident attorney and has helped many distracted driving victims hold negligent drivers accountable for the injuries they cause. Contact Mr. Heisler today to learn more about your legal rights and options at 1-855-946-0489.