866-640-6665 Call For a Free Consultation

Serving Injury & Accident Victims
in Maryland, Virginia, and DC

Maryland Distracted Driving Attorneys

distracted-driving

Distracted driving is a serious problem on a nationwide level. On average, more than 37,000 people are killed in car crashes each year. That’s around 102 people a day. Of that number, nearly 10% involved distracted driving. What’s more, distracted driving costs almost $40 billion in damages each year.

Driver behavior doesn’t seem to be changing much despite the laws that carry fines and even jail time in some states. An incredible 42% of drivers admit that they read emails or texts while they are driving. Almost 70% of drivers report that they use their cellphone while driving even though they are aware that it increases their risk of causing an accident.

It is very likely that you’ve encountered a distracted driver at some point whether you’ve actually had an accident or a close call.

Common Driver Distractions

Anything can distract a driver if it takes their attention off driving. While cell phone use and texting while driving are the most publicized forms of distracted driving, there are many different types, and all are a danger to the safety and lives of the driver, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians.

The Four Categories

There are four categories of driving distractions:

  • Visual – Looking at something instead of looking at the road
  • Auditory – Hearing or listening to something that takes your attention off of the road
  • Manual– Using or handling something that is not the steering wheel
  • Cognitive – Thinking or paying attention to something other than the task of driving

Types of Distractions

Specific types of distractions that drivers encounter include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Using a GPS (entering addresses, adjusting view, etc.)
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Eating
  • Daydreaming
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Drinking
  • Correcting children
  • Putting on makeup
  • Smoking a cigarette
  • Retrieving a lost item from the floor or a seat
  • Looking at scenery instead of the road
  • Rubbernecking when passing an accident
  • Handling pets

A Virginia Tech University study found that people who text and drive are six times more likely to have a car accident than someone driving drunk. There is mounting evidence that shows texting and driving are as bad or worse than drinking and driving.

Damages You Can Claim When You Are Hit by a Distracted Driver

If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you can claim damages to compensate you for any losses you incurred.

Damages for a distracted driving accident include:

Many people think of property damage as being repair costs for your vehicle. However, it extends farther than that:

  1. Reduction in the value of the car after a crash, diminution of value.
  2. It can pay for personal items that were lost or damaged in the crash such as eyeglasses, dentures, clothing, and other items.
  3. If the car is a total loss, then the car’s fair market value would be awarded
  4. It can also include the cost of a rental while you are getting your car repaired.

Who Is Responsible for the Accident?

Texting while driving makes the driver legally liable for any damages they cause in the event of an accident. Every person in the U.S. is bound to a duty of care, meaning that they have an obligation to take reasonable actions to avoid doing anything that would cause harm to another person. This includes when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Every driver on the road across the country, Maryland included, is responsible for taking care to maintain the well-being and safety of the passengers in their vehicle and anyone traveling on the road.

Texting while driving breaches the driver’s duty of care. It is a dangerous activity that can cause accidents leading to injury and death. That translates to negligence on the part of the driver. When a driver is negligent and is involved in an accident, they are liable for the damages that they cause.

It puts people in danger, those in the care with the driver as well as others on the road. When their negligence leads to an accident, they are responsible for compensating the accident victims for damages they sustain in the crash.

Maryland Distracted Driving Laws

Under Maryland law, texting and using a hand held cell phone while driving is illegal. According to the law, “A driver of a motor vehicle that is in motion may not use the driver’s hands to use a handheld telephone other than to initiate or terminate a wireless telephone call or to turn on or turn off the handheld telephone.”

The penalties for violating this law:

  • First offense – Maximum $83 fine
  • Second offense – Maximum $140 fine
  • Third offense – Maximum $160 fine

If the violation results in a crash, the driver will be given points; the only exceptions to these laws are if the call is an emergency, such as 9-1-1, law enforcement, a hospital, first aid, fire department, or ambulance. For reading, writing, or sending a text, email, or electronic message while operating a motor vehicle, the driver is fined $70 and one point. If the activity contributes or causes a crash, the fine can be increased to $110 and three points.

If you have been in an accident because of a distracted driver, you need someone with experience and strong legal knowledge in your corner. Call Duboff & Associates and get the help you need. Daytime, nighttime, Saturday too, DuBoff & Associates are there for you..

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION