November 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Maryland taking tougher approach to distracted driving
Distracted driving has been a major area of focus for Maryland legislators over the last five years. Officials had been long trying to make the laws currently in place much stronger, and recently, a new law went into effect that increases the penalties that motorists may face if caught using a handheld cellphone while driving.
The new law makes handheld cellphone use while behind the wheel a primary offense, which means that these motorists can be stopped simply for that reason alone. In the past, this was a secondary offense, and police could only stop these drivers if they were committing some other type of violation in addition to the use of a phone.
The changes were deemed necessary due to the high number of auto accidents
caused by distracted drivers in Maryland. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Highway Safety Office, nearly 60 percent of the 89, 655 car accidents within the state were caused by distracted drivers.
Perhaps more concerning is the number of deaths and injuries caused in these crashes. Of the 511 fatalities in auto accidents, nearly 50 percent of the deaths resulted from collisions involving a distracted motorist. The agency also reports that nearly 65 percent of the 44,027 injuries in car and truck accidents involved a distracted driver.
If you have been involved in an auto accident that was caused by a distracted driver, there are several things that you can do that could help in the event that your case ends up going to trial. Gather as much information as possible, including taking photos of the crash scene, and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
It can be very difficult to prove that the other driver was texting or talking on a cellphone while driving. If he or she discloses this information to the police officer on the scene, be sure that it is recorded in the officer's report. This is very important, as if it is failed to be recorded, it could become lost over time.
Be sure to seek medical care for any injuries that you may have suffered in the collision. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your ability to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other damages connected to the accident.
An attorney can help you understand the terms of any settlement offers that you receive from insurance companies. If you accept one of these offers, you could be prevented from recovering any additional compensation if you suffer any further complications as a result of your injuries.
Article provided by Portner & Shure, P.A.
Visit us at www.portnerandshure.com