Maryland Accidents by the Numbers
We don’t know whether the figure is an outlier, but the alarming truth is that Maryland’s traffic deaths spiked 17 percent from 2014 to 2015—from 442 to 520, according to preliminary data. The uptrend bucks the long-term downward trend in our state, and is over twice as high as the projected national uptick of 8 percent in traffic fatalities. The total annual cost for Maryland fatalities is $690 million, when you include both work-loss-related costs and medical costs.
Lots of reasons have been given for the additional 78 deaths, from an increase in miles driven to a reduction in traffic citations. Motor vehicle crashes are a top ten cause of death for those aged 1 through 54 and are often preventable through safer driving habits. With these facts in mind, let’s take a detailed look at the recent figures for traffic deaths in Maryland.
Passenger Vehicle Accidents in Maryland
We’ve covered the basic numbers for car accidents, but we still have some more ground to cover. For example:
- Talbot and Wicomico counties on the Eastern Shore together add up to almost as many additional traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015 as the counties of Baltimore, Harford, Carroll, Howard, and Anne Arundel combined. The increase is 15 deaths for the two rural Eastern Shore counties versus 16 deaths in the Baltimore area.
- Overall, 66 percent of fatal accidents were urban and 34 percent were rural in location (2014 figures).
- Car occupants accounted for 40 percent of deaths, while SUV and pickup occupants accounted for 17 percent. National figures were 38 and 25 percent, respectively (2014 figures).
- Single-vehicle crashes made up 56 percent of accidents, while multiple-vehicle crashes made up 44 percent. National figures were identical (2014 figures).
Passenger Vehicle Accident Involving Impairment, Speeding, or Distraction
- Drivers killed who had reported BAC (blood alcohol content) results in Maryland totaled 163, or 86 percent. Nationally, the percentage was 72 percent (2014 figures).
- The estimated number of drivers killed with a BAC of over 0.08 percent (over the legal limit) in Maryland was 53, or 28 percent. The national percentage was 32 (2014 figures).
- Speeding-related fatalities amounted to 134 in 2014.
- Distracted-driving crashes in Maryland cost 34 lives (2008 figures).
Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the motorcycle accident statistics is the helmet-wearing figure:
- The number of deaths in 2014 involving motorcycles was 69, or 15 percent of all traffic fatalities (2014 figures).
- Of those 69 who died, 58 were unhelmeted, 8 wore helmets, and in 3 cases the helmet status was unknown (2014 figures).
- Between 2008 and 2012, half of all crashes occurred in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
- Between 2008 and 2012, nearly 96 percent of those killed were male.
Pedestrian Accidents in Maryland
The pedestrian accident fatality figures included some surprising points:
- A full 23 percent of all 2014 traffic fatalities were pedestrians—101 persons.
- More than 75 percent of the pedestrians killed were male (2008 figures).
- About 73 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred after dark (2008 figures).
- Pedestrians were at fault in about 70 percent of all fatalities (2008 figures).
- The percentage of alcohol-impaired pedestrians was 40 percent (2008 figures).
Bicycle Accidents in Maryland
In a bicycle accident, cyclists stand little chance against other vehicles. There’s no doubt that bikes are becoming popular alternatives, especially in urban environments, and that may account for some of the findings. Note that our young people seem to be especially at risk:
- Fatal accidents involving bicyclists were up substantially from 2014 to 2015 after being steady since 2011.
- In 2014, 5 bicyclists died, or about 1 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- From 2008 to 2012, the age ranges of bicyclists most likely to be involved in a crash were 10 to 15 and 20 to 24.
- Head and brain injuries account for 75 percent of severe injuries and deaths for all bicyclists.
Commercial Vehicle (Truck and Bus) Accidents in Maryland
- Large truck accidents in 2014 resulted in 7 fatalities among truck drivers, or roughly 2 percent of all traffic deaths.
- Fatalities involving a large truck in some way totaled 49 in 2014 (this includes people in other vehicles). That figure in 2013 was 59 deaths.
- Light utility truck deaths in 2014 amounted to 48, or 11 percent.
- Light truck van deaths in 2014 amounted to 8, or 2 percent.
- While there were no bus fatalities during 2014 in Maryland, each year on average across the U.S. 21 people are killed in large buses and motorcoaches, with injuries from such accidents totaling almost 8,000.
Boating Accidents in Maryland
We have a lot of water around our state, and boating is a popular form of recreation. Unfortunately, we also have more than our share of boating accidents:
- While boating accidents fell in number from 196 in 2010 to 110 in 2013, the number of deaths has sharply increased over that time.
- In 2013, boating accidents caused 14 deaths, up from 9 in 2010.
- Maryland is 9th in the nation when it comes to recreational boating accidents. We are 11th in the nation when it comes to boating fatalities.
- It’s estimated that 90 percent of boat drowning deaths occur because the person was not wearing a life vest.
There you have it—our state’s story by the numbers. What can you do to avoid becoming an accident statistic? In most cases, for all kinds of traffic or boating accidents, it comes down to common sense: Don’t drive or boat while distracted or impaired; don’t speed; wear reflective clothing if biking or walking at night; wear a life vest when you boat; and always wear a helmet if you are riding a motorcycle.
We’re listening. How can we help?
At the Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler, we have devoted our practice to defending the rights of personal injury victims. We know how traumatic a serious accident can be for both the injured person and for his or her family. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a vehicular accident, you may be entitled to various kinds of financial compensation, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Keep in mind, however, that there is a statute of limitations – or a time limit – for filing personal injury claims. If you have been injured in an accident, you should not delay. Contact Steve today for a free initial consultation by calling (410) 625-4878, or use our online form.
$5,500,000.00 - Steve represented a 33-year-old single mother of one whose vehicle was struck head-on by a construction truck in 2002. The client suffered life threatening injuries and was in a coma for six weeks. She required two months of brain injury rehabilitation. The client currently has serious permanent disabilities as a result of the accident including short term memory loss, impaired speech, double vision, and right side paralysis.
She is unable to return to her occupation as a dental hygienist or any other occupation. Steve Heisler and his associate Keith Kauffman negotiated a $5.5 million structured settlement at mediation. Should the client reach her life expectancy the payout increases to $9.5 million.
$250,000 - Steve represented the family of a 15 year old Anne Arundel County boy who was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. The defendant driver was also killed. Another passenger survived the crash. The defendant driver had a $300,000.00 liability policy. Steve negotiated a $250,000.00 settlement for the family. The remaining $50,000.00 was tendered to the surviving passenger.
$800,000 - Steve represented the estate and family of a 45 year old man who was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a guardrail and he was catapulted down an embankment. The estate and family alleged that a vehicle in the lane to the immediate left of the man swerved into his lane and caused a collision. The defendant strongly denied any wrong doing. The case was settled at a settlement conference for $800,000.00.
$325,000 - Steve’s client, a 45 year old Sr. Program Manager, was struck by a work vehicle that failed to yield the right of way while turning left in front of the victim in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Steve’s client was thrown from his Harley Davidson and suffered multiple injuries resulting in two surgeries. Suit was filed and the case settled for $325,000.00.
$200,000 - Steve’s client, an elderly lady from West Virginia, was seriously injured when the car she was traveling in was struck by a negligent driver in Garrett County, Maryland. The lady suffered a broken back and detached retina. Steve negotiated a $100,000.00 settlement with the defendant driver’s insurance company and was successful in getting his client’s West Virginia insurance company to “stack” an additional $100,000.00 for a total settlement of $200,000.00.
$100,000 - Steve represented a five year old Eastern Shore boy who was struck by a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road while the boy was riding his bike. Steve's client suffered a traumatic brain injury and serious fractures which required him to spend an extended period of time in a rehabilitation center. The boy now has permanent brain damage. The case settled for the driver's policy limits of $100,000.00.
$95,000 - Steve represented a 36-year-old Cecil County man who was rear ended while stopped at a red light. The force of the impact was severe and his client’s vehicle was totaled. Steve’s client suffered a cerebral concussion, a C5-6 disc herniation, and a L2-3 disc protrusion. He received a 30% whole-body permanent disability rating. Steve settled the case with the insurance company for $95,000.00.