Why Is Distracted Driving In Maryland So Dangerous?
First off, distracted driving is dangerous because it causes so many car crashes. According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 3,150 people are killed in crashes involving driver inattention every year. This figure is a far cry from the 5,870 fatalities from 2008, at which point state governments began enacting legislation to address phone use behind the wheel. In Maryland, you could be fined $75 for a first offense and up to $175 for subsequent violations of the law on cell phone use while driving.
Still, the potential for fines and points on their license does not discourage distracted driving for some motorists. They put all other road users at risk of death and serious injuries in traffic collisions. Plus, there are many drivers who engage in unsafe activities that have nothing to do with using a phone. It is wise to consult with an Owings Mills distracted driving accident lawyer right away if you were involved in a car crash, and some information about the dangers is useful.
Effects on Manual Capabilities: In all driving scenarios where you are not turning on a blinker, shifting gears, or otherwise interacting with the vehicle, your hands should be on the wheel. By taking them off to review or type a text, you eliminate one of the most effective tools for avoiding a crash. Plus, while you are talking on the phone or surfing the internet, you could veer into other lanes because you are only steering with one hand.
Limitations on Visibility: Consider whether you would drive 55 mph down the full length of a football field while blindfolded, and you have an idea of what it means to send a single text. Car accidents happen in a flash of a second, but motorists will never have the chance to respond or take evasive action when their eyes are focused on a cell phone screen.
Problems with Thought-Processing: When drivers review a text, check out social media feeds, or have a conversation with a friend, their minds are elsewhere. Thoughts are not focused on driving, so a motorist is taken off guard when encountering an obstacle, slow-down in traffic, or other threat.
Distracted Driving Beyond Cell Phone Use: Though authorities have enacted laws restricting texting and other usage, keep in mind that cell phones are not the only source of distractions. A driver could suffer manual, visual, and cognitive limitations by:
- Eating or drinking beverages;
- Digging through a purse or bag;
- Interacting with a pet;
- Putting on makeup, combing hair, or grooming;
- Using the radio;
- Adjusting a GPS; or,
- Talking with other passengers in the vehicle.
Consult with a Baltimore County Distracted Driving Accidents Attorney for Free
If you were hurt or lost a loved one because of another motorist’s distracted driving, please contact Furman | Honick Law right away to discuss your rights. You can reach our offices in Owings Mills, Maryland or Baltimore by calling 410-844-6000 or visiting our website. We can schedule a no-cost case review to learn more about your case.