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.
As we have noted in past blog posts, there are a number of factors at work that make driving in many parts of Maryland difficult for motorists, including road congestion, deficient bridges and potholes, as well as aggressive and inattentive drivers. Here's another one that most drivers are not readily alert to: deer.
The driver of a car termed the "at-fault vehicle" by Maryland State Police caused a chain collision Monday on U.S. 113 in Newark about 13 miles south of the Delaware state line that involved three other vehicles and 10 people. The driver of the car, which was passing other cars on a double yellow line, was killed in the accident, along with three passengers.
Google may soon be known for far more than search engines. Driver-free cars developed by engineers under Google's sponsorship have been tooling around California roads for many months now, the "robot cars" having amassed more than 140,000 accident-free miles. Among the seven test cars motoring down Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles (and inside those cities, too), none has even come close to a car accident, except on one occasion when one was hit from behind by another vehicle while stopped at a light.
A memorable rite of passage likely ensued for many Maryland drivers on September 30, as they said good bye to their cell phones and either opted for a hands-free headset or speaker system while driving or simply decided to motor along without talking to anybody.
Our immediately preceding blog post discussed the second annual U.S. Transportation Department summit on distracted driving. The present blog might reasonably be regarded as a tandem piece. It takes a look at what National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") traffic experts have learned over the years in studies focusing on driver fatigue and their recommendations for loosening the tight nexus between sleep-deprived motorists and car accidents.
In a recent blog posting, we noted this comment concerning local drivers from a transportation expert working with Maryland's Highway Safety Office: "There's not a week that goes by that I don't see someone doing something incredibly stupid or aggressive."
University of Maryland professor Kenneth Beck conducts transportation studies for Maryland's Highway Safety Office. Concerning Maryland's drivers, he says that, "There's not a week that goes by that I don't see someone doing something incredibly stupid or aggressive."
Car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes owe commonly to driver error. Speeding, inattentiveness, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs ... each of these factors contributes mightily to the traffic fatalities and injuries that occur each year in Maryland.
Although the following story does not directly relate to a Maryland-based car accident or other motor vehicle mishap, it easily enough could, and on any day of the week. Because of its universal applicability on roadways across America -- as well as its instructive value -- the details are sketched here.