April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Every year, in this state, distracted driving accidents contribute to over 28,000 injuries. In hopes of spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving, Maryland police and the Department of Transportation will be running the Park the Phone campaign in an effort to get drivers to put their phones away and focus on the road.
In addition to the thousands of injuries that result from distracted driving, nearly 200 people die on Maryland roads because of this behavior. It only takes looking down at one’s phone, or anything else that takes one’s eye off of the road, for a few seconds for something horrible to happen. No one thinks it will happen to them, but it can, it does and it just is not worth it.
State law actually prohibits using a hand-held device to talk or text while driving. Those found doing either may have to pay fines ranging from $83 to $160. If a crash occurs, regardless if it results in another person suffering injury or death, the responsible party could face enhanced fines and incarceration — among other penalties.
The DOT recently issues a few tips for drivers who feel the need to use their phones when in their cars. They are pretty common sense, but a reminder never hurts. Some of the safe driving tips offered include:
- Pull over if using the phone is necessary
- Place cellphones out of sight while driving
- Ask a passenger to make calls or send texts if needed
- As a passenger, ask a driver using his or her phone to stop
Distracted driving accidents are no joke. They destroy lives. Maryland residents or visitors to the state who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones due to the actions of a distracted driver may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Legal counsel can review the details of one’s case and help one take action — if deemed appropriate — in order to seek relief.