Car Crashes in Maryland
Nestled within the heart of the Mid-Atlantic, Maryland is home to picturesque landscapes, captivating waterways, and a rich tapestry of history. Beneath this charming surface, there’s a troubling issue that all Marylanders must confront – an alarming rate of car accidents. A total of 108,656 car accidents occurred in Maryland in 2021: that’s nearly 12 accidents every hour.
Maryland’s Car Crash Data: A Closer Look
Car crashes in Maryland are unfortunately common and often result in serious injuries or even fatalities. In most cases, these accidents are investigated by the Maryland State Police or the local Police Departments, especially when multiple vehicles are involved or the crash is fatal. The aftermath of a car accident usually involves dealing with insurance companies to make a claim and recover compensation for injuries.
When we assess the available data on these crashes, several important patterns come to light:
Highways vs. county roads
In the state of Maryland, our highways and county roads are often high-risk zones for drivers. The fast pace and high traffic volumes make the highways hotspots for collisions, accounting for a significant 28% of all car crashes. Similarly, county roads, with their intersections, rural locations, and varying speed limits, witness 23% of accidents in the state. As per the crash data analysis, these areas have particularly high incidences of side-swipe and T-bone crashes.
The Baltimore factor
Baltimore, with its bustling city life and expansive county, is a major contributor to the state’s car accident statistics. While Prince George’s County is considered the deadliest to drive in, Baltimore City and Baltimore County are the sites of a whopping 36.5% of all car accidents in Maryland. These areas, with their heavy traffic, complex intersections, and higher population density, are ripe for incidents like rear-end and head-on collisions.
A closer look at the weekly accident distribution reveals that Fridays are particularly hazardous. With 16% of all accidents happening on this day, it seems the anticipation of the weekend may lead to a lax in road safety norms. The data suggests that there is a spike in incidents like side-swipe collisions and rollovers on Fridays, possibly due to increased traffic and driver fatigue after a long work week. So, as you gear up for the weekend, remember to be extra cautious on the roads.
Age and gender matters
The data also sheds light on the demographics most involved in car accidents. Teen drivers aged between 16 to 21 stand out, being responsible for over $40 billion in medical bills and cost estimates for fatalities in 2020. This age group, often characterized by an increase in confidence and potentially risky driving behavior, sees a high rate of various accident types, including rear-end collisions and rollovers.
As for gender, males seem to be more accident-prone, involved in 34% of all accidents, while females account for 12%. That said, you must exercise caution and respect on the roads regardless of your age and gender.
Types of Car Accidents in Maryland
At first glance, rear-end collisions, often trivialized as ‘fender-benders,’ may not seem particularly threatening. They tend to occur in bumper-to-bumper traffic when a driver halts abruptly, leaving the following vehicle with insufficient time to stop. These situations can escalate quickly if the trailing car is moving at high speed or if there is a significant size difference between the two vehicles. In fact, 6.8% of all fatal crashes in 2020 involved a rear-end collision.
Despite the common misconception, these accidents are not always minor. They can lead to severe injuries, including whiplash, concussion, and spinal cord damage, underlining the importance of maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
Side-swipe accidents occur when two vehicles moving side-by-side graze each other. This often happens during hasty and unsafe lane changes or when drivers drift out of their lane due to distractions or fatigue. The danger isn’t confined to the initial impact.
The surprise factor may cause drivers to lose control, veer off their lanes, and instigate additional collisions. Side-swipe incidents can lead to significant property damage and severe injuries, emphasizing the need for careful lane changes and vigilant driving.
T-Bone crashes, also known as side-impact collisions, are notoriously deadly. They happen when one vehicle slams into the side of another, usually at intersections. In such cases, the thin door panel offers little resistance to the incoming vehicle, exposing passengers to severe injuries or worse. These crashes often result from failure to yield or disregard for traffic signals.
The severity of injuries can range, but in the worst scenarios, individuals are pronounced dead, leaving behind grieving families and loved ones.
Head-on collisions, wherein two vehicles moving in opposite directions smash into each other, are among the most feared accidents on the road. The combined force of the two vehicles increases the severity of the impact, often leading to catastrophic consequences.
As per data from the Insurance Information Institute, these types of collisions accounted for 3,631 fatalities in single-vehicle crashes in 2020. The complexity of determining liability, especially given Maryland’s Pure Contributory Negligence Theory, makes expert legal counsel indispensable in these situations.
Rollover accidents, characterized by a vehicle flipping over onto its side or roof, are the pinnacle of hazardous driving conditions. In 2019 alone, 6,358 passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives in such incidents. Often instigated by high speed, sharp turns, or collision, these accidents can transform any vehicle, particularly taller and narrower ones, into deadly projectiles.
Causes of Car Crashes in Maryland
A comprehensive understanding of car crashes is not complete without examining the causes behind them. Here are some of the key causes:
In our hyper-connected world, distractions are just a ping away. Texting, phone calls, or any activity that diverts attention from the road can have catastrophic results. Nearly 24,000 people are injured or killed as a result of distracted driving each year, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
On an average, almost 3,000 injuries and 170 fatalities on the roads in Maryland occur each year due to impaired driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major cause of accidents in Maryland. These substances impair a driver’s ability to make split-second decisions and react swiftly, leading to potentially fatal accidents.
Over a third of all fatal crashes in Maryland are tied to speeding, with a chilling 36% involving drivers between the ages of 20 and 29. In 2020 alone, over 57,000 motorists received citations for driving 20 MPH or more over the speed limit. The reality is clear – speeding not only increases the risk of accidents but also intensifies their impact, causing more severe injuries and fatalities.
Disregard for traffic laws, switching lanes without signaling, tailgating, aggressive driving, and other forms of reckless driving behavior are common causes of vehicle collisions. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a collision due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Maryland to understand your legal options.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you find yourself in an auto accident, the following steps can help ensure your safety and protect your rights:
- If possible, move to a safe area. If you’re unable to move your car, put your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.
- Call 911, regardless of the accident’s severity; an official police report will help later when you need to file an insurance claim.
- Gather information from all involved parties, including names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
- Take photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and road conditions.
- Go to the nearest trauma center or emergency room – even if you “feel okay”. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately after the accident.
- Inform your insurance company about the accident.
- Consult Essex, MD personal injury lawyers, especially if you’ve suffered serious injuries; this will help protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Our Attorneys Can Maximize Your Compensation in Car Crashes Maryland
Time is of the essence when it comes to securing justice for a car accident in Maryland. Under our state’s laws, you have a limited period – just three years from the date of the accident – to file a claim. With each passing day, vital evidence can be lost and memories can fade, making it more difficult to establish your case. Don’t let your opportunity for justice slip away. Reach out to the experienced personal injury attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC today.
Choosing us as your ally means you will benefit from broad legal expertise from our diverse team that includes a retired judge, a former prosecutor, a former police officer, and several former insurance defense attorneys. Together, we can make a difference in your case by:
- Building comprehensive cases for maximum compensation
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Bringing extensive experience and knowledge to your case
- Vigorously advocating for your rights in court
Call us at (443) LAWYERS or 443-234-0557 or contact our personal injury lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation today.