Learn how Maryland drivers can be safer in 2024 and avoid car accidents.
This time of year, many people try to make changes designed to improve their lives for the year ahead.
"Bad driving habits may be universal, but they are not irreversible," AAA says. "Just a few adjustments can change your behavior."
So, what are some of the worst driving habits? Are Maryland drivers just as bad? And what can you do to avoid bad driving habits? Our Maryland car accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan explain what you should know.
What are some of the worst driving habits?
Each year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts a study focusing on some of the most dangerous driving habits that often result in car accidents. Nearly 2,500 drivers nationwide participated in the study, which is called the "Traffic Safety Culture Index."
Drivers responded to a series of questions concerning their attitudes about certain driving behaviors in general, as well as whether they personally engaged in such dangerous driving habits within the past 30 days. The results are alarming and include:
- 24.8 percent did not stop at a red light at least once in the past month.
- 22.7 percent drove at least 15 mph over the speed limit on a highway or 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.
- 22.2 percent had driven while reading a text message or email "a few times" within the past 30 days.
- 17.9 percent were so tired at least once while driving they had trouble keeping their eyes open.
- 14.5 percent drove a car without wearing a seatbelt at least once in the last 30 days.
- 6.99 percent admitted to driving after having too much alcohol to drink at least once in the past month.
What bad driving habits are common in Maryland?
Unfortunately, many dangerous driving habits plaguing our country are also a problem in Maryland. According to car accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the death toll for some of the most dangerous driving habits hit a decade-high in Maryland in 2021, the year with the most recent NHTSA data. This includes:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol – 195 deaths.
- Not wearing a seatbelt – 147 deaths.
In addition, 168 people died in speed-related car accidents in Maryland in 2021, according to NHTSA data.
Tips to avoid dangerous driving habits
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make Maryland's roads safer and avoid some of the most dangerous driving habits, including:
- Set your cell phone aside while driving, turn it off completely, or put it on "do not disturb" mode.
- Come to a complete stop at all red lights and all stop signs.
- Obey all posted traffic signs, including yield signs and pedestrian crosswalk signs.
- If you often drive too fast, set your cruise control to a more reasonable speed on the highway. Also, consider leaving a few minutes earlier so you don't have to speed.
- If you plan to drink alcohol, have a plan for getting home safely, whether it's a designated driver, a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft, or by using public transportation.
- If another driver gets aggressive, don't react and stay calm. Road rage incidents can lead to serious and sometimes fatal outcomes for those involved.
Contact a Maryland car accident lawyer if you've been injured
Dealing with a car accident caused by another driver in Maryland might initially seem straightforward, especially if you believe the other driver was at-fault. However, the reality is often far from simple. In some cases, the driver responsible for the accident may attempt to shift the blame onto you.
Additionally, the at-fault driver's insurance company may try to downplay the severity of your injuries and offer you a lowball settlement that doesn't cover your losses. That's when having an experienced attorney on your side to protect your rights can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case.
Our Silver Spring car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan are here to guide you every step of the way. We know how to investigate accidents, find the facts that matter, build strong cases, and fight for the maximum compensation our clients deserve.
Don't wait to take action after your accident. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a Maryland car accident attorney focused on winning. We have offices in Silver Spring and Rockville, and we handle car accident injury claims and lawsuits throughout Maryland.