Most Maryland drivers are cellphone owners. Statistics from the Pew Research Internet Project indicated that as of 2013, over 91 percent of all Americans owned a cellphone of some kind. While this amazing technology has transformed the way people communicate with one another, it has also become a cause of concern for motorists who choose to use their cellphones while driving. Across the nation, 3,360 people have died in auto accidents involving distracted driving, and an additional 421,000 people have been injured, according to distraction.gov. In an attempt to lower these staggering statistics, Maryland lawmakers have enacted legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving. However, many drivers continue to engage in these deadly behaviors while behind the wheel.
From March to September of 2013, approximately 4,096 drivers were ticketed for using their cellphones while behind the wheel, as reported by the District Court of Maryland. At this time, using a cellphone while driving was a secondary offense in Maryland, meaning that in order for law enforcement to ticket drivers for improper cellphone use, they must first pull them over for another driving violation.
On October 1, 2013, a law banning the use of handheld cellphones while driving went into effect in Maryland. It is now considered a primary law, which allows law enforcement officers to ticket people who are seen talking on their hand-held cellular devices, even if they have not violated any other traffic laws. During the first six months after the law went into effect, more than 14,490 tickets were written for cellphone violations, according to the District Court of Maryland.
People who engage in tasks where they must remove their hands from the steering wheel (manual distraction), eyes off of the road (visual distraction) or mental focus off of the primary task of driving (cognitive distraction) are in danger of causing a catastrophic car accident, according to distraction.gov. When drivers use their cellphones to talk, text, check email, search the internet or take pictures, they are involved in all three types of distractions. This makes them especially dangerous to everyone on the road.
Even a minor car accident caused by a distracted driver can lead to a major medical issue, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and broken bones. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help auto accident victims, who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, collect the compensation they need and deserve.