A fatal automobile accident in Baltimore County claimed the life of one person and injured four others. The accident occurred on Belair Road near New Cut Road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,700 people die each year and another 840,000 are injured in automobile accidents on public highways. While it is unknown whether the individuals involved in this accident were wearing seat belts, the NHTSA states that seatbelts save lives.
Maryland Seat Belt Laws
During the period from 1975 through 2001, the NHTSA estimates that 147,246 lives were saved by seat belts and 8,369 lives were saved by airbags. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for individuals aged 1 through 54 in the United States. During 2012, more than two million drivers and passengers were taken to the emergency room because of an automobile accident.
In addition to saving your life and avoiding injury, avoiding a traffic ticket is another incentive to wear your seat belt and ensure your passengers are wearing their seat belts. Maryland traffic laws drivers and passengers to wear seat belts regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle. Unlike some other states, Maryland’s seat belt law is a primary law meaning that an officer can pull you over for violating the seat belt law without the necessity of witnessing another traffic violation.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may wonder if not wearing a seat belt can prevent you from receiving compensation for your injuries. While it is the law in Maryland for you and your passengers to wear seatbelts, and wearing seat belts prevents loss of life and injuries in an automobile accident, the court will not penalize you in a personal injury claim for not wearing your seat belt. However, it is important that you take every safety measure you can to avoid injuries in an automobile accident.
Tips for Avoiding Automobile Accidents
In addition to always wearing your seat belt every time you are in a vehicle, you can decrease your risk of being involved in an automobile accident by being proactive when you are driving your vehicle. For example:
- Do not drive while distracted;
- Never drive when you are tired or fatigued;
- Obey all traffic laws;
- Reduce your speed;
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you;
- Maintain your vehicle; and,
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Have You Lost a Family Member in an Automobile Accident?
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another driver, you may have a wrongful death claim against the other driver. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of DuBoff & Associates, Chartered by calling (301) 495-3131 schedule a free consultation.
While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you have the right to seek compensation for your loss from the driver who caused the accident. Compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help pay funeral expenses and cost as well as living expenses for your family. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you seek justice for your loved one and your family.