Although traffic nearly disappeared at the beginning of the global pandemic, road conditions have never been more deadly—especially for Maryland drivers. A combination of speeding, recklessness and other dangerous behaviors among local drivers has resulted in an unexpected increase in dangerous or fatal accidents in the last 20 months.
According to a recent local news report, Maryland roads have increased in danger since the beginning of the pandemic and are seeing a new high in rates of deadly crashes due to excessive speeding and distracted driving. Maryland State Police have noted that based on recent numbers, there have been more local drivers dead per collision, drivers moving at higher speeds, and more instances of driving under the influence or while impaired than ever before.
In 2020, the Maryland Department of Transportation noted that it saw its highest number of fatal crashes in six years due to excessive speeding. Although traffic numbers were down at the beginning of 2020, there was an increase in the number of total fatal crashes overall with 573 deaths in 2020 compared to 535 deaths from the year before. Despite fewer drivers traveling in 2020, the accidents that took place were more severe, which led to an increase in car accident fatalities.
Based on Maryland State Police records, the increase in speeding is well documented. Troopers issued more than 192,000 citations in the first 18 months of the pandemic, which was up from 130,000 citations from the previous 18 months.
In addition to speeding, reckless operation of vehicles has amplified the likelihood of potentially fatal accidents on Maryland roads. Local authorities have reported seeing an increased number of drivers tailgating others, cutting other drivers off, driving while distracted, or using the shoulder as a passing lane.
Although speeding has increased in Maryland, distracted driving remains the most common cause of road accidents in the United States. Distracted driving, combined with increased speeding; however, can be especially dangerous for Maryland drivers.
One Maryland trooper recalled pulling someone over with a siren after repeatedly using flashing lights and hand gestures that failed to get the driver’s attention. The driver, the trooper noted, was simply not paying attention, speeding, and failed to react to emergency signals because he was “zoned out” while operating his vehicle.
In light of excessive speeding and distracted driving across the state, local police are posting extra state troopers on Maryland roads during the holidays as part of their efforts to increase safety for drivers. This effort also includes the Maryland State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort (SPIDRE) team, which is in charge of identifying and getting impaired drivers to safety.
Do You Need a Maryland Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently involved in a Maryland car accident caused by speeding or distracted driving, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and will provide you with the advocacy, support, and knowledge you need to move forward with your legal claim. To schedule a free consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.