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.
In Maryland, as in every state, the human toll involved in car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes each year is enormous. When considered across the United States as a whole, the loss of human life is simply alarming.
After having a few drinks, most Americans thankfully choose not to drive. Over 17 million of them do, however, even when they have a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent, which renders them legally drunk.
Reducing car accidents throughout Maryland is the explicit goal of Checkpoint Strikeforce, a DWI/DUI enforcement campaign officially launched on August 24 by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, safety advocates and law enforcement officials. The program is a six-month initiative that combines dissemination of safe-driving information to the public with increased use of saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints aimed at identifying and prosecuting drunk drivers.