Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Every year, around 183 people die due to distracted driving in Maryland, while over 27,000 are injured.
To prevent distracted driving crashes, Maryland state law prohibits texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving.
Drivers found texting may be fined, and drivers using hand-held cell phones may be fined if their cell phone use contributes to a crash or traffic violation.
Additionally, at-fault drivers in a distracted driving crash that causes serious injury or death may receive a sentence of up to three years of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000.
- In 2015, 48,550 distracted driving crashes occurred in Maryland. 32,052 of these crashes resulted in property damage, 16,390 caused injuries, and 108 were fatal. Altogether, 120 people died in distracted driving crashes in Maryland in 2015, and 24,344 were injured.
- In 2010, distracted driving crashes made up about 18% of all injury-causing crashes in Maryland.
- From 2007 to 2011, male drivers made up 78% of fatalities and 53% of injuries in distracted driving crashes.
- Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by more than 2000%.
- Drivers using hand-held devices are four times likelier to have a serious injury-causing crash.
- Drivers under age 20 are the most likely to drive distracted.
- About 40% of American teens report being in a car when the driver either texted or used a cell phone dangerously in some other way.
- At any point during the day, about 660,000 people are holding a cell phone while driving.
- From 2008 to 2012, about one fifth of all crashes in Maryland involved at least one distracted driver, and these types of crashes were most common in urban areas of the state.
It is illegal to text or use a hand-held cell phone while driving in Maryland. However, drivers may use a speaker phone, Bluetooth wireless, wired headset, or car kit to talk on the phone. Drivers under age 18 and drivers with learners’ permits are prohibited from using either hand-held or hands-free cell phones.
According to state law, texting includes composing, sending, or reading a text or other electronic message.
An officer can issue a fine for texting while driving, even if no other offenses are involved. However, an officer can only issue a fine for cell phone use if another violation is involved (such as running a red light).
The fine for using a hand-held cell phone while driving can be up to $83 for a first offense, $140 for a second offense, and $160 for subsequent offenses. Texting while driving is considered a misdemeanor crime, and the fine is $70 and one point on the driver’s driving record, or $110 and three points if use of the device causes a crash.
Recently, Maryland passed a bill known as “Jake’s law” (named for a five-year-old boy killed in a distracted driving crash). Jake’s law imposes even harsher penalties on distracted drivers when they are found at-fault in a crash that results in serious injury or death. In this case, the driver may be assigned up to three years of jail time and a fine of $5,000.
Contact an Experienced Salisbury Distracted Driving Lawyer
Cellphones and driving do not mix well. Inattentive driving related to cellphone usage is a common hazard on our streets and highways. Young people as well as older ones have become accustomed to texting and using GPS devices frequently. Drivers often believe they are keeping their attention on the road while using cellphones when in fact, they are distracted.
Otway Russo, P.C., has a track record of successful outcomes — and for good reason. Our years of experience combined with a strong service orientation help give our clients a rewarding experience when we advocate for them. If you were injured while another driver was using a cellphone and crashed into you, we can use that information to help you pursue maximum available compensation.
We keep our clients well-informed throughout the course of a car accident or other accidental injury case. When it is time for an accident victim to choose a settlement or take a case to trial, our clients are well-prepared to make decisions in their own best interests.
Our lawyers serve the Delmarva Peninsula and the Eastern Shore of Maryland region. From our law offices in Salisbury, an attorney can advocate for you. What caused your personal injury? A distracted driving accident? Contact us at (410) 749-3900. Learn how we can help document your injury claim or lawsuit after another driver — perhaps distracted by a cellphone — was negligent and struck your vehicle.