Recently, a Las Vegas tourist noted the exceptional lack of jaywalking within that city. He found it ironic that a city known for casual lawlessness and an obvious lack of sobriety maintained such a respectful relationship between pedestrians and drivers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Maryland, a state known for pedestrian accidents despite its relatively charming and friendly image.
Driving while intoxicated presents a grave danger to people on Maryland roads. Nearly 11,000 people are killed each year in the United States as a result of alcohol-related automobile accidents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That figure representing about one in every three traffic fatalities.
During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, the President discussed his commitment to electric vehicles and stated his goal is to have 1 million of the vehicles on the road by 2015. While electric vehicles do not harm the environment with emissions, they are definitely not immune to car accidents.
With winter storms pounding Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region, many vehicles are on the road while carrying sheets of ice. Icy vehicles create a very real danger on the highways, especially when the ice on vehicles flies off and strikes vehicles to the rear. Accidents involving icy trucks are especially dangerous because the tops of trucks can form thick sheets of snow and ice that can come off in large chunks.
On December 29, a tragic accident claimed the life of one Rockville, Maryland car wash worker and injured two other employees. The accident occurred as one employee was driving a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee out of the washing bays when it suddenly accelerated.
We noted in a prior blog post (August 30) the startling admission from 17 million Americans that they are not deterred from driving even when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new upcoming safety-related standards last week that insurance experts and auto analysts believe will have a strongly salutary effect on the number of car accidents involving fatalities and other serious injuries caused by motorists driving in reverse.
America's dominant rental car companies are suddenly a bit under siege, with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating that "incidents involving allegations of personal injury and death" from car accidents have led it to investigate industry practices concerning recalled fleet vehicles.
If you're considering that headline above, it may indeed come with one caveat: Sorry, kids. As usual, and as measured by virtually every conceivable criteria, drivers as a group are just about as dangerous as they can get right after they get their licenses. That includes claims per insured vehicle. For 16-year-old drivers, the number comes in at about 80 claims per 1,000 vehicles. For the most senior drivers - those aged 85 and above - the figure is 56 per 1,000. Who would you rather have in the adjacent lane on the freeway?
Perhaps all the recent ado concerning the impairing effects of driving while drowsy is overstated. After all, the more celebrated killer on American roadways - the drunk driver - is responsible for a fatality in one of every three car accidents he or she is involved in.