A Word to the Wise: Being Alert on the Road is No Accident for Maryland Drivers

Would it be so difficult to remind your friends and tell your driving-age kids that being distracted behind the wheel is more than just a minor safety concern? Could it be that hard to speak to them as a concerned friend or parent that allowing oneself to be distracted on the road can be tantamount to driving while impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs? Would you be willing to trade the momentary glares and indignant scowls for loved ones to understand, once and for all, that you believe no distraction, regardless how small, is worth anyone’s life?

When it comes to traffic safety, we know the downside that errors in judgment and thoughtless actions can cause on our roadways. As Maryland automobile accident and personal injury lawyers, my firm sees numerous people every month who have become victims of a roadway accident, hurt or maimed as a result of another individual’s negligence. Whether a crash occurs in Bowie, Rockville, Baltimore or Washington, D.C., our firm is dedicated to providing legal representation in the event that a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or motorcycle rider is injured or killed in a traffic collision.

Aside from the normal bumps and bruises, cuts and lacerations, and other relatively minor injuries received in a car, bike or trucking-related road accident, many people can end up with long-term, debilitating conditions resulting from closed-head trauma, neck and spine injury or damage to vital internal organs. Considering that most traffic accidents are likely preventable or, at the very least, could have been lessened to a great degree, isn’t it worth a moment of indignation from a loved one to remind them how dangerous distracted driving can be?

Being distracted can mean a lot of things, but the results can be just as deadly. Take for instance what can happen if a driver fails to take note of traffic light, an approaching emergency vehicle or a stopped school bus. Danger comes in many different guises, but make no mistake that a crash between a passenger car and another stationary vehicle can have terrible results. Considering this, we thought back to a news story that detailed a crash on Rte 113 near Snow Hill involving a school bus and which led to a car fire that could have killed a 16-year-old driver.

Based on new items, the crash occurred on a Monday afternoon at about half-past four o’clock. At that time an ‘02 Chevy sedan ran into the back of a cargo van a little bit south of Porters Crossing. Police reports indicated that the 16-year-old driver of the sedan did not notice a number of motor vehicles that had stopped along the highway as a school bus was letting children off.

Although news articles stated that the bus driver had turned on the vehicle’s red warning flashers, the teenage driver apparently did not see them and drive straight into the cargo van. The Chevy subsequently started on fire, which spread to the van, engulfing both motor vehicles in deadly fire. While all of the occupants were able to evacuate their vehicles, the incident could be considered an example of what can happen in severe rear-end accidents.

Fortunately, none of the school kids were hurt and the bus itself was never in danger of being engulfed in flames itself.

There was no mention of why the teen driver did not notice the stopped traffic, but with the all engrossing lure of smartphones and other electronic devices, coupled with a novice driver’s likely inexperience, such accidents are not out of the realm of possibility. Drive safe, Maryland.

Fiery Two-Car Crash Closed Route 113 Monday, MdCoastDispatch.com, September 9, 2012

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