In December of 2011, 5-year-old Jake Owen was killed when the driver of an SUV traveling 62 mph struck the back of the vehicle in which he was a passenger. During the investigation, it became clear that the at-fault driver was using his phone and did not even look up to apply the brakes before the crash. Because of the laws in place, the driver faced only $500 in fines for the fatal crash. As of October 1, 2014, distracted drivers in Maryland will not get off so easy.
Jake’s Law, named after the child killed in 2011, results in much tougher penalties for distracted drivers. Now, distracted drivers could face up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 12 points against their license. Jake’s mother hopes that this new law serves as a deterrent for distracted driving and not just as a punishment. The intent of the law is to prevent distraction-related crashes. Read the rest »
A woman fled the scene of multiple accidents after hitting three vehicles. According to a WBAL-TV news report, the hit-and-run accidents occurred in the 3800 block of Buckeystown Pike in Buckeystown. Officials say the red car left the roadway, struck a car, stopped briefly, hit two more vehicles and fled the scene. It is unclear if anyone was hurt in the accidents. Detectives are looking for a red car with damage to the left front and right side.
Under Maryland Statute 20-102: “The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to or death of another person immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.” Despite this law, it is relatively common for drivers to speed away from an accident out of fear of being arrested or being held accountable. Read the rest »
A 67-year-old Oxon Hill man and his 81-year-old passenger were injured when their van collided with a Maryland State Police car. According to a WJLA news report, the car accident occurred on the Capital Beltway near Suitland Road in Prince George’s County. Officials say the trooper’s car was stopped as he conducted a traffic stop when the car was struck by the van. The trooper was not injured, but the driver of the van suffered life-threatening injuries and his passenger was airlifted to a nearby hospital. The authorities do believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.
Alcohol is a common contributing factor in Maryland car accidents. Alcohol can affect an individual’s ability to drive by impairing his or her vision, reaction time, ability to focus and aptitude for performing several tasks at once. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 160 people were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in the year 2012. That means that about 32 percent of all Maryland traffic deaths that year involved alcohol. Furthermore, 978 people were injured in drunk driving accidents involving a blood alcohol contraction (BAC) of .01 or higher. Read the rest »
An officer and another driver were hospitalized after being involved in a Maryland car accident. According to a WUSA 9 news report, the crash occurred on Branch Avenue in the Brandywine area. Officials say the officer was attempting to turn left with the sirens on when a northbound car crashed into the police vehicle. Both the officer and the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries. It is unclear if the other motorist will be cited for failing to yield to the emergency vehicle.
Under normal circumstances, drivers who are turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. Motorists who fail to yield when turning left can be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause. However, right-of-way laws change when an emergency responder turns on lights and sirens. Read the rest »
A 50-year-old woman was killed in a Maryland car accident when a 2005 Toyota Solara pulled in front of her 2006 Harley Davidson. According to a news report in The Daily Times, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Route 50 at Rockawalkin Road. Officials say the 23-year-old driver of the Toyota failed to yield when pulling out in front of the motorcyclist. The collision caused two other vehicles to crash as well. The motorcyclist was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where she later died. The incident remains under investigation.
Failure to yield the right-of-way is a major factor in a number of Maryland motorcycle accidents each year. Whether the collision occurs at a city intersection, at a rural four-way stop or at a private driveway, the consequences can range from minor contusions to brain injuries to sudden death for the motorcyclist. Riders have no seat-belts, metal frame or airbags. So they are often ejected and seriously injured. Read the rest »
A deck collapse at a Baltimore apartment complex resulted in multiple injuries. According to a WUSA9 news report, the incident occurred at the Colony at Kenilworth Apartments in Towson. Officials are looking into what caused the deck to collapse. Of the seven injured victims, one is in critical condition, four sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries and two were treated for relatively minor injuries.
Under Maryland law, landowners are required to keep properties safe for their tenants. Each case is different, but in general, property owners must ensure that the electrical wiring is properly installed and maintained, the walkways are even, the fire detectors are in working order and proper precautions are taken to protect tenants from crime. Improper signage, broken sidewalks, slippery floors and faulty equipment are all hazardous conditions that can lead to serious injuries. Read the rest »
Alcohol may have been a contributing factor in a Maryland car accident that resulted in life-threatening injuries to a young driver as well as injuries to her two passengers. According to a WBOC news report, the car crash occurred in Dorchester County. Officials say the 18-year-old driver may have been speeding on a curve when she lost control of her 2009 Pontiac. The vehicle left the roadway and struck an electrical pole. The driver was ejected from her vehicle and sustained life-threatening injuries. Her two passengers were injured as well. Read the rest »
A 46-year-old man was killed in Prince George County when his motorcycle swerved out of control and struck a vehicle. According to a WUSA9 news report, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Annapolis Road and MLK Highway in Lanham. Officials are looking into what caused the motorcyclist to lose control before striking a curb and a vehicle. The motorcyclist succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital.
Riding a motorcycle can prove dangerous for even the most skilled and experienced drivers. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, there were 95 motorcyclists killed in Maryland in the year 2007. That is a significant increase from the 84 fatalities in 2006, 85 in 2005, 69 in 2004 and 56 in 2003. Of the motorcyclists killed in the year 2007, 83 were helmeted and 11 were not wearing a helmet. Read the rest »
A 41-year-old man was injured on the job when a fellow employee struck him with a vehicle. According to a WFMD news report, the work-related accident occurred at a site on Hapes Mill Road south of Taneytown in Carroll County. Officials say the worker was struck by a vehicle driven by another county employee at the worksite. He was flown to Baltimore for treatment.
Many jobs require driving or take place near moving vehicles. Workers who operate around vehicles are at risk of getting hit. Roadway workers are particularly in danger of being hurt at work because they have to deal with the many hazards that come with construction work as well as the threat of nearby traffic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 106 worker fatalities at road construction sites in the year 2010, 122 in 2011 and 130 in 2012. Read the rest »
A 22-year-old Pasadena man was killed and two others sustained serious injuries in a Maryland single-vehicle accident. According to a WBAL-TV news report, the fatal car crash occurred on Route 10 near the Outer Loop of the Beltway near Glen Burnie. Officials say the 22-year-old driver may have been speeding when he failed to negotiate a curve, spun off the roadway and struck a tree. He was transported to a trauma center in Baltimore where he was pronounced dead. A 20-year-old man in the vehicle sustained serious injuries and was listed in stable condition and a 21-year-old passenger was listed in critical condition. Officials believe that excessive speed was the main factor in the crash. Read the rest »