Baltimore: Distracted driving, alcohol or substance abuse and speeding cause most of car crashes - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Baltimore: Distracted driving, alcohol or substance abuse and speeding cause most of car crashes

In the Baltimore area, there was more than 25 fatal car crashes in 2014, out of which 17 of those involved pedestrians, according to city-data.com.

The fatalities caused by these accidents count over 40 dead, and the days in which most of these accidents happen seem to be Saturday. While this data is a bit older, the same patterns seem to contribute when it comes to recent-days car crashes: distracted driving, substance abuse, and speeding.

One percent of all the car crashes registered between 2009 and 2013 were considered severe or fatal. By 2030, death by a car accident will be the seventh cause of death amongst the inhabitants of the Baltimore area. In Maryland and more specifically, Baltimore, car crashes are not only explained by socio-economic and geographical factors, but also by the population density, as well as the traffic in those areas where accidents are predominately happening: the city center and busy road arteries.

Distracted Driving – The Main Cause of Car Accidents in the US

Across the US, distracted driving seems to be one of the main causes of car crashes. The use of a mobile device while driving seems to contribute enormously to this. But let’s find out which are the types of distracted driving. As experts claim, there are three types of distractions.

  • Visual distractions, which cause the driver to take their eyes off the road;
  • Manual distractions, which cause the driver to take their hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive distractions, which cause the driver to think about various matters besides driving and paying attention to the road.

The typical American driver seems to do plenty of things that increase the distraction level: eating while driving, texting, talking on a phone, checking the GPS coordinates etc. There is no wonder, as Ramin Soofer, personal injury attorney in Los Angeles says, that most of the Americans are involved at a time or another in such events. The number of car crashes which resulted in fatalities in the US, in 2015, was approximated at almost 3.500 by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

In 2016, the same Centre reported almost 6,000 pedestrians killed on the US roads in similar events. The rates at which these numbers are increasing is alarming. From 2005 to 2010, the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed in similar events almost doubled, and the number of those injured in these is also concerning. But by identifying the risk factors when it comes to distracted driving may help authorities tackle the issue and raise awareness of the dangers involved in such driving habits.

Risk factors

Several socio-economic coordinates seem to make drivers drive irresponsibly and show inadequate behavior at the wheel. However, age seems to be the main determinant factor in the case of distracted driving: younger drivers (aged 20 and below) have higher rates of irresponsible driving due to distractions, have higher changes to forget putting on the seatbelt, are more likely to ride in a car with a drunk driver, or have higher chances to drive in an ebriety state themselves.

Preventive measures

More and more states are enforcing new laws that are developed to decrease the accidents caused by distracted driving. Banning texting and driving in most of the states seem to work decently until now, and similar measures were adopted by a variety of Governmental bodies and affiliated institutions.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

As mentioned in the beginning, substance abuse and intoxicated driving is another concerning cause of death in car accidents. Almost 10 percent of all crashes registered in the USA during a year, and almost 45 percent of the fatalities, are related to alcohol and substance abuse. Both pedestrians and drivers that were involved with alcohol have more than 40 percent chances to also be involved in car accidents. However, the cases in which the driver is intoxicated and causes a car crash with fatalities are more numerous. Even if the event isn’t a deadly one, in most of the cases, hospitalization and attentive medical care are necessary for these victims.

While the insurance companies of the guilty drivers are unlikely to have a beneficial attitude towards the victim, more and more car crash victims find a lawful solution of their case by using the services of a law firm with a personal injury activity area. As many experts in the field claim, male pedestrians have more chances (70 percent of the victims were male) of being the victims of a motor vehicle accident. Also, a risk factor for pedestrians when it comes to drunk drivers is the age. Most pedestrian victims are aged 50 to 55 and 75 to 80. Older pedestrians seem to have fewer chances to react in a timely fashion in the case of an intoxicated driver than younger ones do.

Speeding and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Across the US, a staggering number of traffic crashes are related to excessive speed. Until 2010, car crashes caused by excessive speed were estimated to cost the American society and economy more than 40 billion dollars per year. In the case of a speeding driver, their ability to react appropriately and timely but also to steer, decreases. This way, an impact with a moving or standing object appears.

Age and sex seem to contribute to the driver’s predisposition to show this type of behavior while driving, younger males are more likely to speed excessively in circumstances that do not allow, compared to young females. The driver’s chances to show this type of behavior decrease, as the drivers grow in age. A reckless behavior seems to once again lead to fatalities and severe injuries, just like in the case of distracted driving.

In the Baltimore area, these patterns seem to be present as well. While a busy traffic seems to contribute to an increased number of accidents, age and sex have an important contribution. The younger the driver, the more reckless their driving patterns are. For increased road safety levels, the Government would have to adopt a stricter set of laws and regulations.

 


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