Highway Car Accident in Maryland
In Maryland, highway car accidents happen with unfortunate regularity. In our state, posted highway speed limits are 55 miles per hour (“mph”). The rule of thumb is the limit will be 50 mph on undivided highways in Maryland, 55 mph on divided highways, and 70 mph on interstate highways and expressways. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, on parts of US Route 50, the speed limit is 65 mph. Two roads where many of our clients get into accidents are I-495 and I-95 in Maryland. As of 2017, drivers who excessively speed by 12 mph or more over the speed limit (67 mph or more) face a $40 civil citation. Unfortunately, $40 as a civil citation does not even begin to cover it if the speeding leads to an accident. With the high speeds of both vehicles, the accident can be catastrophic.
While the speed limit is 55, many drivers do not strictly adhere to this law. In general, the speed limit is set based on when there are ideal driving conditions. In Maryland, this is not always the case. Some days there may be torrential downpour, while other days there may be snow, ice, and sand over our highways. Furthermore, construction on roads is common, which may lead to particularly challenging driving conditions with reduced lane widths, barriers, construction vehicles, modified signage, and other drivers suddenly slowing.
MD Highway Car Accident
First, the time of year can play a role for many reasons. First, during the winter months, people are generally more lethargic and thus less alert on the road. There is also less sunlight per day, which means less visibility for drivers. Meanwhile, there may be less highway accidents in the summer due to less road congestion because more people are on vacation. Moreover, particularly on roads, like I-495, that are curvy, visibility may be more strenuous than for other roads. The curves also make maintaining control of your vehicle more difficult at higher speeds.
This is bad news given the number of large trucks that use the highway to deliver packages to the various cities in Maryland connected to I-495. Between the large vehicles and the excessive speeds, there is an increased likelihood of wrongful death. The beltway in Maryland is notorious for both its traffic and its risky drivers. If you are in a highway car accident on the Maryland beltway, call us today for a free consultation.
An unfortunate reality of highway driving is there is a likelihood of texting and driving. When drivers are on the highway, there is not always exciting scenery. Further, drivers may be on these highways for long stretches of time. While morally inexcusable, it can lead some drivers to become bored and lose focus and to turn to their phones.
Even if not on their phones, highway hypnosis is a real phenomenon which affects drivers of all experience levels on Maryland highways. Highway hypnosis can particularly affect elder drivers (age 65 and older), who account for 17% of all traffic fatalities. If you are driving on the highway for large stretches, we strongly urge you to take breaks. If necessary, use the restroom, grab a coffee, or stretch to give your mind a chance to enjoy something other than the road.
As with everything else on the highway, the effects of weather on road conditions are exaggerated on the highway. This means that drivers should extend their distance between the driver in front of them and to remain even more diligent and alert for negligent driving from nearby drivers. When you are driving faster like on the highway, your windshield will catch even more rain, reducing visibility. As a prudent driver, it is important to account for these environmental factors and adjust your driving accordingly.
Contact a Maryland Highway Accident Lawyer
Our attorneys have been practicing personal injury in Maryland since 1954. We understand that highway accidents are some of the deadliest categories in personal injury law. We publish this article to remind readers of its danger and to remain diligent because the stakes are so high. If you are hurt because of another’s negligent highway driving, you may have a claim for compensation. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.