Maryland suffered 485 traffic fatalities in 2011, the year with the latest complete figures from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. This may not be a particularly large number compared to the 33,367 deaths for all of the United States. But the low figure is not due to any special concessions practiced by drivers in the state. Rather, it comes partially from the state’s population of 5.8 million compared to the country’s’ 311.5 million.
A more comparable statistic is the rate of traffic deaths per 100,000 people. In Maryland, that rate is 8.32, which is closer to the national rate of 10.39. In comparison, the lowest rate in the 50 states belongs to Massachusetts at 5.12. The highest goes to Wyoming at 32.
About 40 percent of all fatal traffic crashes in Maryland involved alcohol, compared to 36 percent for the country. The Maryland figure shows an increase of 8 percent from nearly 10 years go. This despite greater educational efforts on the effects of drinking and driving, and penalties that include up to six months of license suspension, jail time of up to a year, and a fine of up to a $1,000. (If convicted drivers were transporting a minor, potential punishments go up to two years of jail and a fine of $2,000.)
Of the fatalities, over 47 percent were drivers, 14 percent were passengers, 15 percent were motorcyclists, 21 percent were pedestrians, and 1 percent were bicyclists. Speed was a factor in 142 of the crashes.
As your Maryland accident attorney, we want you to avoid these figures for the current year by practicing some common-sense safety techniques. If you become involved anyway, please contact us right away to see what we can do for you.
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