Over the past decade, the number of Maryland traffic fatalities has fortunately trended down. Despite more drivers traveling greater distances on our roadways, the number of fatal crashes has continued to drop. According to Annapolis transportation officials, 442 people were killed in Maryland traffic accidents in the year 2014, including 98 fatalities in Prince George’s County and 64 deaths in Baltimore County. All traffic deaths are tragic, but 442 is a relatively low number compared to the 643 deaths that occurred in 2004 and the 872 traffic fatalities that occurred in the year 1968, the deadliest year on record in Maryland.
As reported by The Baltimore Sun, not all news was positive. Numbers show that drunk drivers killed someone in the state of Maryland every 66 hours. That number means that about 30 percent of all Maryland traffic fatalities last year involved alcohol. Furthermore, the number of pedestrian deaths actually went up from the 106 average from 2009 to 111 in the year 2013. Motorcycle fatalities also increased to 66 in 2014 – up from the 61 motorcycle deaths that occurred in the year 2013.
However, the overall numbers are positive and fewer people are dying in Maryland car accidents. There are a few potential reasons why there are less Maryland traffic fatalities, including:
- Crackdown on distracted driving. Using a handheld device while driving was banned in Maryland in 2010 and made a primary offense in 2013.
- Increased seatbelt use. Drivers and passengers who are properly belted in have a much greater chance of surviving a crash. About 92 percent of people in Maryland wear a seatbelt but 37.5 percent of the fatalities suffered in 2014 involved unbelted occupants.
- Better and more efficient medical care. The medevac helicopter out of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore has helped save the lives of many critically injured motorists.
- Drunk driving arrests. Alcohol continues to be a major problem, but police are doing their part. They have arrested over 20,000 drivers on suspicion of DUI in the past five years.
- Fewer aggressive drivers. There were only 27 aggressive driving-related deaths in 2014 compared to 53 in 2013.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact one of our experienced Maryland car accident lawyers to find out how you can receive fair and full compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.