NEW PROPOSAL TO STRENGTHEN MARYLAND DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS

Federal and state governments have waged a long campaign about the dangers regarding distracted driving. Many laws have been passed that heavily penalize drivers for texting, using a handheld cellphone or surfing the internet while driving.

As officials study the effectiveness of these rules, they are learning that many drivers are still practicing these bad habits, leading to catastrophic results. In 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 3,000 people were killed in car accidents that involved a distracted driver.


Maryland is one of several states that have laws against distracted driving. The state prohibits texting while behind-the-wheel, and has harsh penalties in place for drivers that violate the rule. Additionally, the use of handheld cellphones is not allowed while driving.


The texting rule is a primary violation, which means that police may stop a motorist for texting while driving; no other moving violation must be present. The ban on handheld cellphones is a secondary violation, which means officers must see additional rule infractions before making a traffic stop.


Legislators have failed in prior attempts to make the handheld cellphone ban a primary violation. Each time the measure is unable to obtain the support that it needs to be passed. A new proposal is again making the rounds that would increase the penalties for distracted driving.


The new bill would make handheld cellphone use while driving a primary offense, and increase the fines and points that could be handed out if motorists are engaged in distracted driving.


Proponents of the bill say that there has been an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers, especially those using handheld cellphones. Putting tougher laws in place may make drivers think twice about texting while driving.


If these motorists cause an accident, there may be options available to the other driver, bicyclist or pedestrian involved in the collision. Drivers may bring an action to recover compensation for the damages or injuries that were caused. This compensation may be for medical bills, property repairs, missed time from work, as well as other expenses that may have resulted from the accident.


While roadways may be getting safer, an accident can happen at any time. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about the circumstances of your case. Each situation is different, and will require a careful analysis to determine if recovery is possible.


Insurance companies may contact you soon after the accident in the hopes that you will settle your case. These individuals are not on your side, and are trying to get you to resolve your claims for less than they may be worth. If you have injuries that require extensive treatment and care, you may be unable to recover all of your expenses if you settle too soon.


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