January 6, 2011

Maryland Teen Driving Accident Statistics – What Parents Need to Know

Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time for a teenager, but it also comes with serious responsibilities. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the main contributing factors noted by police officers for young driver auto accidents in Maryland include the following:

  • Inattention
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Driving too fast for road/weather conditions

When considering that 16 and 17 year old motorists account for only 1.6 percent of all licensed drivers in Maryland, it is astonishing that these motorists account for 11 percent of all driver fatalities. Parents can play a major role in helping to ensure that their teenager drives safely and follows all the rules of the road by setting an example and by enforcing rules of their own. It is recommended that parents consider the following points to help raise auto accident awareness with their teen:

Continue reading "Maryland Teen Driving Accident Statistics – What Parents Need to Know" »

December 29, 2010

Chemical Mix-Up for Capital Beltway Pre-Treatment Causes Car Accidents

A chemical mix-up resulted in the Capital Beltway being turned into a sheet of ice earlier this month, according to WashingtonPost.com.

Maryland’s State Highway Administration (SHA) saw there was a chance of snow for the weekend of December 3, and decided to pre-treat the Beltway, rather than focusing only on bridges and overpasses. Typically, to de-ice roads, the SHA uses a salt brine mixture, which consists of about 77 percent water and 23 percent salt. However, there was a mistake and two tank trucks were accidentally given liquid magnesium to spray on the roads. Liquid magnesium can work well for melting snow and ice on the road, but needs to be mixed with another substance before being sprayed. In this case, the trucks sprayed pure liquid magnesium on the Capital Beltway.

When sprayed on dry roads in warmer conditions, liquid magnesium becomes very slick. Almost immediately after the trucks were done treating the roads, the SHA began receiving accident reports, which were the result of the icy roads. At least eight car accidents have been blamed on the chemical mistake, and four people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries. Officials discovered the error and immediately sent out salt and sand trucks. They claim the mistake was made because the trucks were not reset after last winter.

Continue reading "Chemical Mix-Up for Capital Beltway Pre-Treatment Causes Car Accidents" »

July 22, 2010

Teenage Girl Dies in Maryland Rear-End Collision

On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, a 16-year-old girl from Leonardtown was killed in a Maryland car accident. According to MyFoxDC.com, she had been driving southbound on Point Lookout Road near St. Andrew’s Church Road when another vehicle struck the rear of her car, causing the victim’s vehicle to spin out into the northbound lane of traffic where it was struck a second time.

An ambulance arrived at the scene and took the teenager to St. Mary’s Hospital for serious injuries before her ultimate death. Officials indicated that driver speed and alcohol did not contribute to the accident. No other news has been released at this time regarding the incident.

Continue reading "Teenage Girl Dies in Maryland Rear-End Collision" »

July 8, 2010

Frederick County Three-Car Crash Injures One

On June 14, 2010 a three-vehicle collision occurred in the afternoon that left one person seriously injured. According to the article on Your4State.com, the accident happened in Frederick County near Haywood Road. The collision involved two cars and one tractor-trailer. Officials arrived on scene shortly after the accident.

Authorities say that one car attempted to make a left-hand turn, but then collided with another car and tractor-trailer when he attempted to switch back into the northbound lane on Route 15. One person was injured as a result of the accident. The injured party will likely be okay, but examinations will be issued in order to rule out any internal injuries.

Continue reading "Frederick County Three-Car Crash Injures One " »

July 1, 2010

D.C. Bus Accident Hospitalizes 20 People

On Tuesday, June 10, 2010, a minor collision between a passenger vehicle and a bus injured about 20 people. The accident occurred during the early morning hours on I-395 southbound in Washington, D.C. near Maine Avenue. According to The Washington Post, the Metro bus had been carrying mostly teenage passengers. Several lanes on southbound I-395 were closed during the incident. No one was seriously injured.

Vehicle related accidents occur every day and at an alarming rate. They are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35, and the leading killer for Americans of all ages. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 40,000 people die each year in car accidents, costing over $150 billion dollars in damages.

Continue reading "D.C. Bus Accident Hospitalizes 20 People" »

June 21, 2010

Toyota Halts Sale of Lexus Vehicles Due to Defective Steering

Toyota Motor Corporation has stopped sales of all 2010 Lexus LS600h and Lexus LS 460 models due to problems with the power steering and announced a recall for the two models, according to mibz.com. Apparently, the electric power steering of these vehicles causes a temporary off-center condition of up to 90 degrees for about five seconds before sliding back to normal position. This condition is said to occur after turns, when the steering wheel is in lock position, full left or right. About 3,800 Lexus vehicles in the U.S. have been affected by the recall.

The officials at Lexus recommend that owners of these vehicles should not spin the wheel all the way. No accidents and no injuries have been caused as a result of this defect. Regardless, sale of both Lexus models have halted for three weeks while Japanese specialists investigate the problem and find a viable solution.

Continue reading "Toyota Halts Sale of Lexus Vehicles Due to Defective Steering" »

March 25, 2010

68-Year-Old Woman Dies in Two-Car Crash

On Sunday March 14, 2010, a 68-year-old woman died after sustaining serious injuries from a two-car accident on Route 15 in Frederick County, Maryland. Maryland State Police indicated that a pickup truck did not stop at the Mountville Road traffic light and rear-ended a Dodge Caravan. According to an article posted on Your4State.com, both drivers and the five passengers in the van were injured. The 68-year-old woman was initially brought to Washington County Hospital and then airlifted to Shock Trauma. She died later that day in the hospital. Charges are currently pending against the pickup truck driver, a 31 year-old man from Virginia.

By law, drivers are responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur as a result of their own negligence. Not abiding traffic laws, such as running a red light, often falls under this category. Personal injury claims in Maryland as well as wrongful-death lawsuits may ensue. Automobile accidents are the leading killer for Americans of all ages. Survivors of accidents may have serious, life-long injuries and sustain emotional trauma.

Continue reading "68-Year-Old Woman Dies in Two-Car Crash" »

January 14, 2010

Woman Killed in a Two-Car Crash

A 34 year old woman from Pennsylvania was killed in a two-car crash when the driver of the pick-up truck she was riding in lost control of the vehicle on an icy part of Old York Road in White Hall and crashed into another vehicle. According to the Baltimore Sun, a 41 year old man was driving his 2006 Ford pick-up truck on Old York Road when he crossed a double yellow line to pass a 2005 Chevrolet pick-up truck, skidded on the icy pavement and crashed into the other truck. The woman, reportedly from Stewartstown, was killed as a result of the collision. The driver of the Ford truck was ejected from his vehicle and transported by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was listed in critical condition. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup was uninjured.

Driving in wintertime can be more dangerous, as rain, snow and ice affect a vehicle’s traction on the road. If road conditions are very icy, tire chains for your front wheels can be used to aid in traction. Rain puddles and flooding can cause vehicles to lose grip and hydroplane, which can cause a vehicle to spin out of control.

Continue reading "Woman Killed in a Two-Car Crash" »

December 8, 2009

Driver Involved in Baltimore County School Bus Accident Injured

There is no question that the safety of children is a daily concern of parents, teachers, and anyone responsible for taking children into their care. School bus drivers in particular base their career on ensuring that children are transported to and from school without experiencing any danger or harm. Part of a school bus driver’s job is to uphold this important responsibility. Although it may not be as obvious, motorists of all vehicles on the road must take the well-being of children into consideration as well, particularly when a child is crossing the street, riding a bike, or is a passenger on a bus or in a car.

With the above points in mind, a recent accident involving a school bus and a small passenger car sent out ripples of concern amongst parents of Harford students who were traveling to school on the morning of November 11, 2009. According to a baltimoresun.com article, the school bus transporting the Harford County students to the Maryland School for the Blind was hit by a small passenger vehicle. It was reported that neither the students nor the bus driver were injured, however, the driver of the other vehicle did sustain injury. At the time of this writing no additional information regarding the injured driver has been released.

Continue reading "Driver Involved in Baltimore County School Bus Accident Injured" »

October 29, 2009

Maryland Light Rail Collides With Car, 3 Injured

A recent auto collision with a light rail train serves as a reminder of how important it is to use extreme caution when in close proximity to tracks where light rails operate. According to an abc2news.com story, three people were injured when their vehicle crashed into a light rail at the intersection of Howard and Lombard. Apparently, the impact of the train caused the car carrying the three individuals to move approximately 100 yards. One of the victim’s injuries was deemed serious; however, none of the three individuals’ injuries were reported to be life-threatening. They were taken to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police are still investigating the collision to determine its exact cause. If it is determined that negligence on the part of the train operator was responsible for causing the accident, the injured parties may be able to hold the operator liable for financial costs associated with their injuries and property damage.

Continue reading "Maryland Light Rail Collides With Car, 3 Injured" »

October 1, 2009

Maryland ATV Accident Kills 17 Year Old

An article from wtop.com reported on June 20, 2009 that a 17-year-old Flintstone boy was killed in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident in Allegany County. Apparently, in an effort to avoid hitting a wire fence while traveling on a private farmland dirt trail, the teen lost control of the ATV and crashed. An 18-year-old passenger on the ATV suffered injuries. It is not known at this time whether the teens were wearing helmets at the time of the incident or if any obstructions played a factor in causing the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advocates teen driver safety, as do all parents, teachers, neighbors and friends alike. According to the NHTSA website, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in America. Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. This staggering amount of young adults killed due to auto accidents of all kinds, including ATV accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, are mostly attributed to lack of experience on highways and roads.

Continue reading "Maryland ATV Accident Kills 17 Year Old" »

June 11, 2009

Maryland Car Crash Caused by Negligent Driving

According to a TheBayNet.com report, a three-car collision near the intersection of Maryland Route 2 and Route 260 was caused by a driver running a red light. Police responding to the crash said that on the morning of May 6, 2009, the driver of the at-fault vehicle ran the red light at the intersection and careened into two other vehicles on Route 260.

No fatalities were reported in the crash, although four of the people involved in the accident were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital.

A car accident in Maryland like this can be especially frustrating for the drivers and passengers whose only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When other drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, others suffer—even if they were doing their best to operate their vehicles safely.

Continue reading "Maryland Car Crash Caused by Negligent Driving" »

June 4, 2009

Maryland Highway Flagger Killed by Elderly Driver

According to a WBOC.com article, a highway flagger was struck and killed on the morning of May 4, 2009 by a motorist in Marion Station, Maryland. Tammy Hammond, a flagger with Barrett Flagging Company, was struck on Route 413 by a vehicle being operated by 74-year-old Doris McDorman, a resident of Crisfield, Maryland.

At the time of the pedestrian accident in Maryland, Hammond was standing on the shoulder of the road and was within a work zone. Although an ambulance transported Hammond to a local hospital, she died from her injuries. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends as they deal with the loss of her companionship.

Continue reading "Maryland Highway Flagger Killed by Elderly Driver" »

May 29, 2009

Motorcyclist Leads Maryland Police on Hour-Long Chase

The police blotter for the FrederickNewsPost.com reports that Maryland State Police arrested a motorcyclist after an hour-long chase on US 15 near Thurmont. According to the blotter, 25-year-old Benjamin Kieffer was speeding in the northbound lanes of US 15 south of Thurmont, when he was noticed by members of the Maryland State Police.

One reason that law enforcement officials frown on those who flee from arrest is because of the additional dangers that a desperate individual represents. While the motorcyclist in this case was engaged in fleeing from police officers, he put all of the other people traveling on that portion of US 15 in unnecessary danger. Had there been an auto accident in Maryland, those injured or killed in the crash would have suffered because of the selfish flight of the motorcycle operator.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist Leads Maryland Police on Hour-Long Chase" »

May 21, 2009

Howard County Accident Victim Wins Settlement

It was reported that Sandra Jenkins of Odenton won an $188,000 settlement from the insurance company of the driver who rear-ended a car in which Jenkins was a passenger. The settlement came by jury decision after a two-day trial.

Jenkins had originally claimed $300,000 in damages in December of 2007. However, the last settlement offer made by the insurance company was only $37,000. The Jenkins case illustrates one of the many reasons for those injured in auto accidents in Maryland to seriously consider hiring legal representation.

Continue reading "Howard County Accident Victim Wins Settlement" »

May 1, 2009

Brain Injury Awareness: No Such Thing as a Mild Head Injury

The Baltimore Sun reports in a story that a new awareness of brain injuries is spreading through the ranks of American medical practitioners in the wake of the death of actress Natasha Richardson.

Richardson, wife of actor Liam Neeson, and star of such films as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Parent Trap, suffered a minor fall while skiing on March 16, 2009. Although the actress refused medical treatment and was initially reported to be in good condition, Richardson soon complained of a headache, and slipped into unconsciousness. Two days later, Richardson died from an epidural hematoma.

Continue reading "Brain Injury Awareness: No Such Thing as a Mild Head Injury" »

April 14, 2009

Anne Arundel Car Accident Kills Woman

The Baltimore Sun reports in a story that a rear-end collision sparked a chain reaction automobile crash in Maryland that resulted in a fire and fatality in Anne Arundel County.

On March 4, 2009, a rear-end car collision on East Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie sent one of the vehicles across the center lines of the roadway and into the path of a garbage truck headed the opposite direction. After impact, the car and garbage truck burst into flames. The driver of the car, 33-year-old Christine Schoppert, died of injuries sustained in the truck accident in Maryland.

Lavelas Luckey, a Coast Guard officer who was on his way to work, rescued the driver’s 5-year-old daughter from the burning wreckage of the vehicles. As of this writing, she is undergoing treatment at John’s Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center for “life-threatening injuries,” according to the Sun story.

Continue reading "Anne Arundel Car Accident Kills Woman " »

March 26, 2009

Anne Arundel Woman Pulled from Burning Car

The Baltimore Sun reports in an article that two Maryland State Police officers rescued an unconscious woman from a burning van as a result of a Maryland auto accident during the morning hours of March 11, 2009.

At approximately 6:30 am, Melody Grimm, 57, of Crofton, MD drove her minivan off the roadway for reasons unknown. When Police Officer John Griffin and Cadet Andrew Neall arrived on the scene, the engine compartment of Grimm’s vehicle was burning and thick smoke filled the interior of the minivan.

Cadet Neall tried to open the driver’s side door and found it locked. Officer Griffin broke one of the minivan’s windows to gain entry. Inside they found Grimm unconscious in the front seat of the vehicle. As flames spread from the engine under the van, the two police officers lifted Grimm out and carried her to safety. Moments later the minivan burst into flames.

Continue reading "Anne Arundel Woman Pulled from Burning Car" »

March 3, 2009

Maryland Fatal Auto Accidents Involving Teen Drivers Decreasing

The Baltimore Examiner reports that the number of teen auto accidents in Maryland is declining.

Citing data from the State Highway Administration, the Examiner notes that from 2003 to 2007 the total number of fatal car crashes caused by drivers between the ages of 16-20 has decreased by 41. This decrease is a 66 percent decline in the total number of fatal crashes in which a teen driver was at fault.

The good news carries over to injury crashes caused by teenagers. State traffic statistics for the four-year period show a decline in injury accidents of over 50 percent. State officials point to the state’s driver’s license program, which allows young drivers to gradually get more experience behind the wheel. This results in more confident drivers able to handle the sometimes rapidly changing conditions behind the wheel.

Continue reading "Maryland Fatal Auto Accidents Involving Teen Drivers Decreasing" »

February 19, 2009

Maryland Fatal Auto Accidents Involving Teen Drivers Decreasing

The Baltimore Examiner reports that the number of auto accidents in Maryland caused by teen drivers is declining.

Citing data from the State Highway Administration, the Examiner notes that from 2003 to 2007 the total number of fatal car crashes caused by drivers between the ages of 16-20 has decreased by 41. This decrease is a 66 percent decline in the total number of fatal crashes in which a teen driver was at fault.

The good news carries over to injury crashes caused by teenagers. State traffic statistics for the four-year period show a decline in injury accidents of over 50 percent. State officials point to the state’s driver’s license program, which allows young drivers to gradually get more experience behind the wheel. This results in more confident drivers able to handle the sometimes rapidly changing conditions behind the wheel.

Continue reading "Maryland Fatal Auto Accidents Involving Teen Drivers Decreasing" »

February 5, 2009

From Reckless Driving to Forging Public Records

A recent story from the Washington Post illustrates the need for persons charged with crimes to get good legal counsel and work within the system.

On January 11, 2009, the Post reported that Nathan Devine, a Manassas Park resident charged with reckless driving, decided to change his court date so he could raise money for fines. Unfortunately, instead of working within the legal system with the help of his attorney, Devine chose a more direct method.

He called up Maria Merlos, a friend who worked in the Prince William County District Court offices, and asked her to change the court date for him. When the ruse was discovered, Merlos and Devine were each charged with forging public records, and Merlos was also charged with conspiracy to forge public records. All of these offenses are felonies and are far more serious crimes than reckless driving.

Continue reading "From Reckless Driving to Forging Public Records" »

January 29, 2009

Columbia Auto Accident Kills Man

Roger Gene Bartug, a 22-year-old man, died in a Columbia, MD auto accident November 9, 2008 after he was thrown from the passenger seat of a Ford pickup truck, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun. Bartug was fatally injured in the single-vehicle collision.

Alenxander Randolph Camorali, the driver of the pickup reportedly fled the scene after crashing the truck into a tree. Bartug was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Camorali, 23, was arrested several hours after the accident and will most likely face hit-and-run charges. The fatal car crash occurred at the intersection of Harper’s Farm Road and Twin Rivers Road.

Continue reading "Columbia Auto Accident Kills Man" »

January 27, 2009

Three-Car Collision in Bel Air Bypass Kills Two

A mother and her 8-year-old son were killed in a Bel Air Bypass auto accident. Katherine S. Brady, 31 and 8-year-old Wilson Brady died while Stephen Brady, 32 who was driving their minivan and another child, 2-year-old Ian Brady were listed in serious condition. According to this news report in the Baltimore Sun, the head-on collision occurred when a Jeep Cherokee driven by 37-year-old Christopher Lentz swerved into oncoming traffic striking the Bradys’ Saturn Relay minivan head on. The minivan spun out of control and struck another Ford van behind it.

Bryan Kearchner, the 36-year-old driver of the Ford van is said to have suffered non life threatening injuries. Authorities have charged Lentz with two counts of vehicular manslaughter, according to this report. Police say Lentz was traveling at 75 mph at the time of the accident. They also say drugs used to treat narcotics addiction were found in Lentz’s vehicle.

Continue reading "Three-Car Collision in Bel Air Bypass Kills Two" »

January 20, 2009

Teenager Dies in Car versus Dump Truck Accident on Jefferson Pike

Kaitlyn Wilson, 17, was killed in a car versus dump truck collision in Jefferson, Maryland, on November 5, 2008, according to this Gazette news article. Kaitlyn was a passenger in a Honda Civic driven by another 17-year-old, who suffered serious injuries, but survived. Police say the girls were traveling north of Holter Road and the dump truck was heading east on Route 180 when they collided. People who saw the horrific accident say the teenagers were trapped inside, but firefighters quickly extricated them from the vehicle.

According to the article, criminal charges are pending against the 17-year-old driver who police say did not stop at a red light at Jefferson Pike (Route 180). The car then ended up colliding with a State Highway Administration dump truck that was traveling east on Route 180. The dump truck was on top of the front passenger side of the Civic and had crushed Kaitlyn. Both the occupants of the dump truck suffered only minor or non life threatening injuries. Officials also said speed and alcohol were not factors in this Maryland automobile crash.

Continue reading "Teenager Dies in Car versus Dump Truck Accident on Jefferson Pike" »

November 18, 2008

Maryland Roadways Slated For New Construction

A recent article published on wmdt.com explains that local and state politicians have pledged funds to help improve several of Maryland’s roads and highways. Among the projects slated for new construction are Route 589, Route 113, and the Sinepuxent Bay Bridge. But can new construction contribute to the likelihood of serious personal injury resulting from auto accidents on Maryland roadways?

Though driver error and negligence plays a huge part in auto accidents, road conditions can dramatically affect an accident’s outcome and increase the chance of delayed reaction time, distracted driving, and poor decision-making. Add adverse weather conditions, driver fatigue, and issues of negligence, and you have a recipe for disaster – after all, Bethesda car accidents don’t just cause property damage, they can cost you serious personal injury and even your life.

Continue reading "Maryland Roadways Slated For New Construction" »

November 13, 2008

Maryland Car Crash Kills Police Officer’s Son

Unfortunately as reported in the following article there has been another Maryland auto accident fatality involving a teen driver. The incident occurred in Damascus, Maryland where Ryan Didone, the 15-year old son of a Maryland police district commander, was killed in a car crash while on his way home from a youth worship meeting. The article reports that Didone was a passenger in a car with other teenagers when the driver, 17 year old Zachary Kimble, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to strike a tree and catch fire. Ryan Didone was not wearing a seatbelt. Kimble was said to be a new driver who lost control of the vehicle on a curvy roadway.

It was reported that four other teens riding in the vehicle survived the crash, though one remains in critical condition. There is no word yet on whether any criminal charges will be filed against Kimble or whether Didone’s parents will file a civil claim for the death of their child. In either instance, the crash will involve extensive investigation and reconstruction to determine the exact cause of this accident and to develop facts which may help prevent such tragedies in the future.

Continue reading "Maryland Car Crash Kills Police Officer’s Son" »

November 10, 2008

Teen Auto Accidents In Maryland Hope To Be Curbed By Car Cameras

A recent Washington Post article has highlighted the growing popularity of car cameras that keep tabs on teen drivers – and the cameras in question are available free of charge to Southern Maryland families. The program, which was created in response to the increased problem with teen fatalities due to Maryland auto accidents, was funded by the Maryland Highway Administration and installs cameras that capture in-car and external activity while a teen is driving. Video is streamed to the DriveCam offices and parents are informed of video postings.

The thought behind the teen cams? Encourage safe driving with an in-car monitor when parents are unable to drive with a teen. But will the cameras really help teen drivers? Signs point to yes, since the cameras are triggered by high-force events such as sudden braking. The efficacy of the program will have to be tested over time, however, and its final outcome is not yet known.

Continue reading "Teen Auto Accidents In Maryland Hope To Be Curbed By Car Cameras" »