Articles Posted in Traffic Safety

As personal injury attorneys serving the residents of Baltimore, Annapolis, the District of Columbia, as well as other areas of our state, we have met numerous people over the years who have been seriously injured as a result of a car, truck or motorcycle collision on Maryland roadways. To say that automobile accidents happen often is an understatement, but the fact is that an injury accident can happen almost anywhere.

We recall that old auto insurance admonition, which still rings true today: “Most traffic accidents happen within 25 miles of home.” Since most people live and work generally within that radius, it’s a fair bet that if and when a car or trucking-related wreck does befall a person, there is a rather strong chance that it could occur within the range of one’s home.

When one considers the results of a traffic accident, it’s also good to think about the causes, which in many cases may have been preventable. Sadly, with human nature being what it is, eliminating all roadway collisions is likely more a pipe dream than anything else. But as Baltimore injury attorneys, we also know that a traffic wreck can happen to just one vehicle, and not always due to driver error or a mechanical problem with the vehicle itself.

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It is safe to say that most people understand the gravity of being involved in a car-pedestrian traffic collision, yet many people appear to expose themselves unnecessarily to the dangers associated with walking to close to the shoulder of an active roadway or crossing at busy intersection without carefully assessing the traffic situation. Compounding these everyday dangers is the fact that many pedestrians are also involved in using highly distracting smartphones and other electronic devices when walking on-foot near heavy vehicular traffic.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand the potential for serious injuries that can come with being caught up in a car, truck or motorcycle accident; that of bodily injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to critical, life-threatening injuries such as closed-head trauma, spinal cord damage, injury to internal organs and severe cardiopulmonary events. Any one of the latter problems would be cause for life-saving efforts by an emergency room medical team, all of which could have be avoided with a little extra caution on everyone’s part.

These kinds of fatal and near-fatal accidents should never be invited due to a simple loss of focus on a pedestrian’s part; however, nobody can control the actions of another person, such a car or commercial truck driver who crashes into another vehicle or bystander. Seeing that just standing too close to a busy city intersection is dangerous, consider the folly of stopping on the shoulder of a high-speed interstate with car and trucks passing just feet away at speeds upward of 55 to 65mph, maybe more.

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Anyone who has read this column at any length knows that roadway collisions are one of the leading causes of death among adults and children here in the United States. For children, especially, car crashes amount to what is truly known as the primary killer of small children and infants. Whatever the cause, the loss of any life is a sad and regrettable event; but the loss of a young life is a tragedy beyond words.

As Baltimore automobile and trucking accident lawyers, I and my colleagues are committed to helping those families who have lost a loved one in car truck and motorcycle-related traffic collision. When it comes to car accidents, one of the most common reasons that police and traffic safety experts point to is driver error. And much of what occurs in the way of driver error can be chalked up to distracted driving.

More than anything, we as drivers have an obligation to ourselves, our families, passenger riding with us, as well as other drivers with whom we share the road to be as alert and on-task as we possibly can be, regardless of the situation. We would even go as far as saying that anyone who cannot apply themselves 100 percent to the job of operating a motor vehicle should probably not get behind the wheel of a car, SUV or minivan any time soon.

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With one of the most deadly holidays — traffic-wise — behind us, it’s perhaps a good idea to review the dangers facing motorists these days. Car, truck and motorcycle collisions happen all of the time, but for some of us we find it hard to accept that people are dying in traffic wrecks all across the country on a daily basis; and maybe while you are reading this very sentence.

As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my colleagues understand that nobody can eliminate traffic deaths completely, save removing every car, bike and commercial delivery truck from the roadways. But as we have alluded, that is not a practical solution to the problem of highway fatalities in Maryland and across this great country.

Over in Clarksville, the stretch of Rte 32 between Interstate 70 and Rte 108 has long been the scene of many a fatal traffic wreck. Yet people are still arguing over what should, could and might be done to make that section of roadway safer for individuals and families living in the area or just passing through.

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Passenger car accidents involving teenage drivers are a common occurrence here in the Baltimore area, as well as in Bowie, Rockville, Annapolis and the District. What many people tend to forget is that teen’s simply do not have the experience and (some may say) wisdom that comes with age, or at least many years behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. As Maryland auto accident and personal injury lawyers, I and my staff know how easily anyone can be hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle/scooter crash, which is why we advise caution whenever driving in dense traffic or through busy parts of town.

Here in the United States, automobile collisions are the most common kind of fatal accidents that take the lives of thousands of teens every year. Representing about a third of all deaths among teenagers, traffic wrecks have been named by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) as one of the greatest caused of teen fatalities; citing, in the past, roadway crashes as the killer of about eight young people (aged 16 to 19 years) every single day, while injuring more than three-quarters of a million teenagers annually.

Since driving-age teens have the highest traffic accident rate of any age group, we are never that surprised when we hear of a bad accident — whether a serious injury collision or a fatal wreck — that has involved at least one young driver. But, sadly, even though our law firm knows that teenagers account for a percentage of fatal accidents, it doesn’t change the fact that a family who has lost a child has a long road ahead of it in terms of coping with that loss.

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When most people think of a car, truck or motorcycle wreck, the most common image is that of two or more vehicles sitting damaged by the side of the road. While many passenger car and commercial truck-related collisions involve multiple vehicles, we do see numerous instances of single-vehicle crashes that involve just one car or truck. As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we have represented dozens of individuals who have been hurt in an injury-related accident, be it auto, nursing home, medical malpractice or other incident that results in bodily injury.

The fact is, when it comes to roadway accidents, some crashes are caused not by another driver, but by the roadway itself. Weather conditions come immediately to mind, but there are other kinds of problems that can result in a traffic wreck. One area of personal injury law involves defective roadway claims. Many times, a car, truck or bus crash can because the actual road surface is intrinsically unsafe or has been temporarily made unsafe due to outside causes.

Passenger cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheeled motor vehicles all require a certain amount of friction between the road surface and the vehicle’s tires to maintain steering and directional control. Most people in cold-weather states know this very well, since an icy or snow-covered street can be slippery to the point of loss of control, either when steering, braking or accelerating. The same can be said when it rains, though less so in most circumstances.

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Anyone who has been involved in any kind of serious traffic accident knows how dangerous a car or trucking-related collision can be. As Maryland injury specialists, I and my colleagues are all too aware of the bodily injuries that can result from a collision between a passenger vehicle and a commercial delivery truck or semi tractor-trailer. (We won’t even talk about the fatal consequences that face individuals who become involved in a motorcycle-related roadway accident that entails a collision between a large commercial motor vehicle and a much smaller motorcycle, scooter or bicycle.)

Being automobile accident lawyers, we have seen the aftermath of many a traffic accident, here in the Baltimore area as well as other parts of Maryland and the District of Columbia. There are few roadway wrecks that can truly match the deadly and frightening effects of an 18-wheeler striking a smaller family sedan, sport utility vehicle or minivan. Unfortunately, in this day and age, trucking-related traffic accidents are an unavoidable part of modern life in large metropolitan areas.

Sharing the roadway with box trucks, construction vehicles, city buses and big rigs is just par for the course for many Maryland drivers. Despite the dangers — and remembering that every year, thousands of innocent victims are killed or injured in commercial vehicle accidents — drivers and passengers must go about their lives in the hope that nothing bad will transpire while they are on the road.

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With tens of thousands of innocent victims being sent to emergency rooms all over the U.S. every year as a result of untold numbers of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, it’s reasonable to ask why so many people are being hurt, maimed and killed more than one hundred years after the invention of the automobile. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, my firm is dedicated to helping those who been involved in a car crash or who experienced the loss of a loved one killed in a senseless traffic collision. But why do these incidents continue to happen?

While we can go on and on about how society should have moved on from the carnage of the 20th Century, at least in terms of roadway accidents and the related bodily injuries and wrongful deaths that occur on a daily basis throughout our country, we likely must resign ourselves to the fact that human nature is still a factor in many auto wrecks, commercial trucking crashes, pedestrian accidents and bicycle collisions. As long as human beings are behind the wheel of motor vehicles, there will always be mistakes and errors in judgment, all of which add up to people being hurt and killed in traffic accidents.

Yet, with nearly 90-percent of all automobile and trucking-related collisions on our public roads being preventable, at least according to safety experts, one would hope that there might be a way to reduce those senseless crashes and the injuries they cause. If we could drastically cut the number of closed-head injuries, broken and fractured bones, damage to internal organs and irreversible spinal cord damage, life for tens and hundreds of thousands of injured individuals and those soon-to-be injured could be vastly improved.

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Here in the Baltimore area one has many opportunities to observe, or sometimes be involved in a variety of accidents that cause some kind of personal injury. The trick, it would seem, is to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As Maryland auto and trucking accident attorneys, my firm is experienced helping those people who have become victims of someone else’s negligent or thoughtless actions.

When it comes to roadway collisions, it could be said that Maryland drivers are right up there in terms of being involved in mild to severe car-, trucking- and motorcycle-related wrecks on a fairly regular basis. Of course, nobody asks to be involved in any kind of traffic-related accident situation. And on a similar note, no one would ever want to be sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries as a result. Regardless, every month dozens of innocent men, women and children are hurt or killed as a result of a bad car, SUV or minivan crash.

As the people at the Allstate insurance company have illustrated with their annual report of cities with the worst drivers, many Marylanders live and work in the epicenter of national car accidents. In a way, Washington, D.C., is the capital of more than just our nation; the District is also number one, according to Allstate, in traffic wrecks. Anyone who might be thinking that only D.C. residents have to worry about increased rates of car accidents just has to look at the number two position: Baltimore City.

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We have spoken of distractions on many occasions and we’d like to reiterate the potential for severe bodily injury when the warning signs just outside a driver’s windshield are not heeded because one is too fixated on reading or sending a text message or doing some other highly distracting activity. Automobile and commercial trucking wrecks occur daily, both on our highways and along city streets. There are few men or women out there who can multi-task on a superhuman basis to the point that driver distraction is not a deadly threat to both driver and passengers.

Being personal injury attorneys here in Baltimore and serving greater Maryland and the District of Columbia, we understand how easy it is to become sidetracked by a phone call or enticing email from a friend or relative. But when these interruptions happen from the driver’s seat of a passenger car, or worse, a commercial delivery vehicle or semi tractor-trailer, the ingredients for a potentially deadly traffic collision are all there.

We’ve already seen what a possibly distracted teen driver wrought out in Worcester County a while back. But it is incumbent on every driver to maintain 100 percent of his or her attention to the job at hand: operating a two-ton motor vehicle on public roads while maintaining to the best of their ability the safety of their car, themselves and the innocent people all around them. To paraphrase a now well-known saw, “It takes a village to maintain a peaceful roadway.” And while that may seem a little silly, the fact is a highway or crowded city street is a kind of rolling village, and we are all, for a time, responsible for the harmony or chaos at any one moment.

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