Texting and driving kills. It is that simple. The statistics, both in Maryland and nationally, are overwhelming. If you or a loved one has been hurt or even killed as a result of a driver who chose to text while operating their vehicle, you need to contact an attorney to figure out what your rights are and whether you can be compensated for the harm that was done.
Text messaging has clear negative impact on driving performance any way you slice it. Following distance, reaction time, minimum following distance, and, as a consequence of these and many more adverse effects, the total number of car accidents. All of these individual contributors to the impairments associated with texting while driving result in text messaging drivers being at least six times more likely to cause a motor vehicle crash than drivers who are not text messaging.
Who is texting while driving? People of all ages. But teenagers do it more. Approximately 49 percent of boys in a survey admitted to texting; 45 percent of girls conceded they text while they drive.
As a result, people are getting badly hurt, and they are getting killed. One study found that age correlated with cell phone accidents while driving. The result is what you would expect. Younger drivers are disproportionately dying. The impact is catastrophic. Another found that more than 3,000 teenagers die every year from texting. It causes over 300,000 injuries. A 2018 study found that texting bans do not impact teenagers. Why? Because they do not listen and they just keep on texting.
Put this in perspective for a second. Approximately 2,700 teenagers who die and 282,000 are injured from alcohol-related deaths. Of course, we need to continue to decrease alcohol-related deaths. But it is telling that texting is causing more injuries and deaths in teenagers.How These Texting Collision Injury Cases Play Out
In Maryland, juries rarely hear about accidents that result from texting. Why? Because smart defense counsel usually admits their client is responsible in these cases. In our jurisdiction, if the defendant admits to being responsible for the crash, no evidence can come in that is going to get the jury mad at the defendant.
We don't like this rule because it does not give the jury the full context of why the collision happened, leaving them to speculate about what happened. But this is the law. In fact, plaintiffs' attorneys don't want to win this issue with the trial judge because it is very likely to get reversed on appeal which means you lose your entire verdict and have to start over again from scratch.Why Are People So Foolish as to Text and Drive?
Everyone is talking about texting and driving. There are so many public service announcements now. Maryland has a law that forbids it. Yet people keep on doing it. Why? We have to start getting to the root of it instead of just preaching that people need to stop. Because we keep telling them that people are going to get hurt or killed and they are not stopping.
People get into the habit of wanting immediate feedback to their texts and emails. They get an endorphin rush when they know someone is trying to get in touch with them. In 2016, they are used to acting on that rush immediately.What Is the Punishment for Texting and Driving in Maryland?
There are two problems trying to catch the bad guys in the texting while driving wars. The risk is that it is hard to see that someone is texting as opposed to doing another activity that is permissible.
But the other problem is that you get no points, no matter how many times you get caught. For the first offense, the fine for texting while operating a vehicle is $83. It goes to $140 for the second and $160 for subsequent offenses. But given the remote chances of getting caught coupled with the soft penalties, the law is close to useless.Getting a Lawyer to Fight for You
Our firm often represents the victims and the families of victims who are harmed and killed in motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured in car accident in Maryland, call us 1-800-553-8082 to speak to attorney advocates who know how these claims work. You can also get a free online no obligation consultation about your case.