Motor vehicle crashes can happen for a broad range of reasons. Sometimes, bad weather makes it harder for people to control their vehicles properly. Other times, a mistake by one driver can end up having consequences for many other people on the road. Sadly, it has become increasingly common for people to make choices that leave others in danger on the road.
One such choice is the decision to drive distracted, particularly when someone engages with a mobile phone. Our culture has become obsessed with constant contact and the need for instant responses. Even those who may not text with family or loved ones on the road may feel compelled to respond to a boss or client. All too often, these people overlook the legal and practical risk that they are taking.
Maryland law prohibits manual use of a phone while driving
In order to keep the roads as safe as possible, Maryland law prohibits drivers from using a phone while in control of a vehicle. It is illegal to dial a phone number manually, just as it is illegal to read or compose a text message. Sadly, many drivers feel like these rules do not apply to them.
There are certain things you can do to avoid crashes with distracted drivers, including giving a wide berth to anyone who is clearly looking down at their lap or does not have their hands on the wheels while driving. However, no matter how careful you are, you can't prevent someone else's negligence from potentially endangering you.
All drivers are less safe if they text at the wheel
Texting is a particularly dangerous form of distraction, because it takes the eyes, the hands and the mind of the driver away from the task of driving. Adequately controlling a motor vehicle requires mental focus and manual control.
Someone who texts behind the wheel has at least one hand off the wheel and on the phone. It will take them several seconds to adjust if they need to respond quickly to something that happens in front of their vehicle.
More importantly, it may take them longer to notice something happening, because their eyes will be focused on the phone, not the road. Their mind, as well, will have a focus somewhere far away from the task at hand. All of that can lead to compromised driving skills that may leave everyone else on the road in danger.
If you suffered injuries in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation from that driver. If you suspect distraction played a part in a crash, be sure to advise law enforcement of that concern at the scene of the accident. You should also inform any attorney with whom you work of your suspicions. This can help secure the evidence you need to move forward and seek compensation for your losses.