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Like it or not, cell phones have become an essential part of our culture. With easy access to friends and family, plus limitless knowledge at our fingertips, any stray thought or moment can be shared, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or messaged to our circles.
While these devices are usually a blessing, they can also be a curse–especially behind the steering wheel. As technology continues to advance, distracted driving and its deadly consequences continue to increase. Further, Maryland is far from exempt.
Since 2012, law enforcement handed out over 32,000 traffic violations to Montgomery County drivers for distracted driving. Over 15,000 traffic violations were handed out during 2014 and 2015. Here’s a breakdown of the data:
You might notice the giant leap in traffic violations from 2013 to 2014. After 2013, cell phone technology advancements truly came underway. In 2013, social networking on cell phones became more popular than ever, which explains the jump from the number of traffic violations in 2012. In 2014, better cameras, more selfies, Instagram, dating apps, and the app store (in general) completely changed the game. With all those new changes, it’s no wonder why people were so glued to their phones everywhere they went.
The three cities with substantially higher numbers of stops were Bestheda (8,100), Wheaton (6,968), and Silver Spring (6,434). This is not surprising as these are the most populated areas.
You may know that intersections are inherently dangerous. They are even more dangerous when motorists are distracted while driving.
The intersections where drivers received the most distracted driving citations occurred on Old Georgetown Rd. at Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda(116), Kentlands Blvd. at Booth St. in Gaithersburg (113), and Rockville Pike and Talbott St in Rockville. (94).
The fewest amount of traffic stops occur during the winter months (December, January, and February). Luckily, drivers are more aware of the types of dangers present on the road during these months (ice, potholes, slick roads, etc.). Take note of how the amount of traffic stops increase as the weather gets warmer.
There aren’t many instances of bad road conditions during the warmer months (other than the occasional pothole or rain storm that may make the roads slippery). Therefore, drivers may feel less inclined remain alert of their distracted driving habits. Here are the top 3 months that have the most traffic stops:
Over the span of our data, the highest amount of distracted driving traffic stops have occurred on Mondays and Fridays.
If you’re curious of when distracted driving traffic stops most frequently occur (so you can stay safe and out of the way), look no further.
Surprisingly, these stops do not occur as often during rush hours in Montgomery County.
The fewest amount of traffic stops occur between 1 AM and 6 AM, where each hour has fewer than 200 traffic stops–most likely because there are fewer people on the road during these hours.
Hopefully, these conclusions will prove helpful in battling the distracted driving epidemic in 2018 and years to come. The best defense, of course, is putting down the cell phones while driving. Motorists already know that distracted driving can be fatal (which is why laws exist to deter these bad habits). These drivers must also be equipped with the knowledge that, should they decide to drive while distracted, the officers of Montgomery County will not hesitate to intervene.Filed Under: