There was some unfortunate and probably preventable news coming out of Maryland last week. Transportation and safety officials are reporting there were 52 motor vehicle crash fatalities in September alone, according to preliminary numbers. What’s even more unnerving is that when you take in the entire year so far, fatalities have climbed to 456.
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Maryland had 900 crashes so far this year that took place in work zones – resulting in six fatalities
Traffic fatalities include cyclists and pedestrians
These 456 deaths include 13 bicyclist and 103 pedestrians. A growing problem since cycling is getting more popular in the Old Line State. In fact, many MD communities are now recognized as a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. These communities include Baltimore, Bethesda, Columbia, Frederick, Hagerstown, Rockville, and Salisbury.
Under Maryland law bicycles are defined as vehicles
2023 will account for 600 motor vehicle deaths
A Maryland MVA press release reports officials are expecting to finish the year with 600 motor vehicle fatalities — the first time it’s this high since 2007. When looking at a 5-year average, fatal crashes account for 517 according to MDOT. While injury crashes’ 5-year average is at 29,677.
Close to 80,000 crashes in Maryland this year so far
Injured residents’ numbers are much higher. Since the start of 2023, there have been close to 80,000 crashes in Maryland. Last year, close to 8,000 crashes involved speeding, with Baltimore, Prince George’s, and Montgomery counties having the most. 51,032 crashes involved a distracted driver. That’s someone who’s eating while behind the wheel, on the phone, texting, or even fiddling with the radio. Total crashes involving pedestrians in the Old Line State? 2,609 in 2022.
Leading causes for most car accidents in Maryland
• Distracted driving
• Impaired driving
• Aggressive driving
• Ignoring traffic signals
• Hit-and-run accidents
• Rollover accidents
SEE ALSO: IMPAIRED DRIVING LAWS IN MARYLAND–FINES, POINTS, JAIL TIME
Defensive driving means that you must scan everything in your line of vision, not just what’s right in front of you
Driving safety for all
It’s crucial to know that you can help prevent car crashes, traffic fatalities, and injuries. Drive defensively, and always buckle up even for a short time behind the wheel. Remember to share the road with bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers of course. And don’t forget to move over for all stopped and standing vehicles, especially those with emergency personnel.
Drive safe, your life depends on it!