Articles Posted in Statistics

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Auto accident 2.jpgSo you’ve been injured in a Maryland automobile collision, and you want to get a settlement or verdict. What can you expect from the process? How long does it take? When will you get your money?

There are two possible phases–the steps leading up to a pre-lawsuit settlement, and the steps following that leading to a trial verdict or post-lawsuit settlement. We’ll talk about pre-lawsuit settlements here.

In general, after an accident and once you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will perform whatever investigation is necessary (ordering police report, talking to witnesses, locating photographs or accident video). He will work on notifying the negligent people/corporations or their insurance companies that they are on the case. At that point, they should not be talking to you, but should communicate directly with your lawyer. Your lawyer will also begin ordering your medical records or bills, so he can see what treatment you’ve had in the past, and possibly monitor current medical treatment. Finally, he will apply for PIP (personal injury protection) or MedPay (medical payments coverage).

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50cc scooter.jpgWe posted recently about the new law requiring moped and scooter riders to wear helmets, procure insurance and have their vehicles titled (Maryland Helmet Law Now Extends to Scooters). An interesting question is what this will do for Maryland’s finances?

One article cites that there are 3,500 scooters in Maryland–with a price tag of $25 for the title and decal, that means the state should get about $194,000 in net revenue.

But wait, there’s more! The requirement to wear a helmet means that some injuries will be prevented entirely, and others will be less serious. It is estimated that it will save Medicaid $120,000.00 per year. That’s money that they won’t have to spend on serious, long-term care of people who were injured. Though, one wonders if there might in fact be more injuries–a rider without a helmet might be killed, though a rider with a helmet in the same accident might have a severe and permanent brain injury. It’s hard to know where these estimates come from. Only time will tell, and that’s only if someone comes in and analyzes the data.

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Teen driver.jpgThe Washington Post published an article last week, Graduated Licenses Can Save Lives, Says IIHS. It discusses the process for teenage drivers to receive a license. Here’s the data:

  • Teenage driving fatalities are down over the past few years
  • Estimate: with stronger laws, twelve states could cut their fatal teen driving rates by half or more (500 lives saved, 9,500 collisions prevented)

All states and the District of Columbia now use graduated driver licensing (GDL). This means that teens start learning to drive with a supervised learner’s permit, then have approval to drive in non-high risk situations after passing a road test, then receive full privileges.

Data from all states were analyzed, and it turns out that the states with the most restrictive GDL laws have the fewest fatalities. Some suggestions include:

  • Precluding younger teens from driving (South Dakota allows learner’s permits at age 14)
  • Setting stricter night-driving provisions with earlier driving curfews
  • Setting bans on teen passengers
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The Governors Highway Safety Association released statistics on motorcycle accident related deaths for 2011 (Motorcyclist Traffic fatalities by State: 2011 Preliminary Data). The 2011 data goes through September, as the remainder of the year’s data is not yet finalized:

  • 2011: 3,580 motorcycle deaths (January to September)
  • 2010: 3,641 motorcycle deaths (January to September)
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DC Auto Accident Stats (05-20-12).pngThe nearly mid-year District of Columbia traffic death statistics are out (up through May 11), and D.C. is doing very well. Credit is of course going to D.C.’s safety initiatives: education, better signs, safety officers, speed cameras (Mayor Vince Gray would like one on every corner), etc…. The accident death toll is now six, compared to 14 deaths this time last year. In 2009, there were a total of 16,841 traffic collisions in the District of Columbia.

This could be the result of any number of factors, including general awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Regardless of the cause, we’re thrilled that that drivers are somehow safer.

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distracted driving accident attorney.jpgAT&T conducted a survey of 1,200 teenagers (ages 15-19) to learn more about driving behavior and attitudes toward texting and driving. Here are some of their conclusions:

  • 97% of teens know that texting while driving is dangerous
  • 70% of teens believe that texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous
  • 54% of Hispanic teens admit to texting while driving
  • 41% of Caucasian teens admit to texting while driving
  • 42% of African-American teens admit to texting while driving
  • 80% of Hispanic teens admit to using their phones while at red lights
  • 71% of Caucasian teens admit to using their phones while at red lights
  • 70% of African-American teens admit to using their phones while at red lights
  • 46% of teens send between 21 and 100 text messages per day

AT&T’s Infographic is pretty good–it highlights a lot of information designed to help promote their “Texting & Driving: It Can Wait” campaign. Two things that caught my eye:

  • At 65 mph a car travels the length of a basketball court in a single second
  • Texting takes your eyes off of the road for an average of 5 seconds

Like many providers, AT&T has designed a mobile app (DriveMode) to prevent text messages from reaching a driver.
For more information on distracted driving, check out our Charm City Lawyer Blog posts and past Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Blog posts. If you believe that you have been injured because another driving was driving while texting, contact us at 443.850.4426, or online for a free consultation.

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Self-driving car.jpgWe’ve all heard about Google’s research into self-driving cars. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting into the mix, believing that 80% of automobile accidents can be prevented if vehicles are given the ability to communicate with each other (see article, Detroit Free Press).

This “vehicle-to-vehicle” communication and related technologies can be used to implement crash-warning systems, and lane departure alerts. According to the NHTSA’s Administrator:

Our research shows that these technologies could help prevent a majority of the collisions that typically occur in the real world, such as rear-end collisions, intersection crashes, or collisions while switching lanes.

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Indiana Bus Crash.jpgThe IndyStar reports in Lawsuit in Fatal School Bus Crash Focuses on Seat Belts, that the family of Michael Watkins, Lenae Watkins and Neveh Hobbs filed an automobile accident lawsuit against the Miller Transportation, Inc. Miller owns and operates the school bus involved in the March 12 collision which took the life of another student (not named in the lawsuit), Donasty Smith. The bus collided into a concrete pillar.

The lawsuit includes claims that Miller did not adequately inspect the bus. At this point, the police have inspected the wreck and concluded that the bus passed inspection on January 3, and there was no indication of anything faulty. However, the plaintiffs are obviously preserving their claim and their right to have their own experts inspect the bus.

The lawsuit also makes claims that Miller did not adequately monitor the health of the bus driver, who died in the collision. The autopsy results have not been released, yet.

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Rear Backup Camera.jpgWe posted on March 6 about Mandatory Back-Up Cameras: Worth the Cost? It seems that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been getting a lot of criticism for his delay in acting on the proposal.

The Tampa Bay Times has an editorial pointing out that the cost of backup cameras ranges from $58 to $203 per car (in our post, we only had data about the higher-end dollar figure).

But, is this even a worthy issue? Apparently, back-up cameras are already standard on 45% of all 2012 models. Based on that, it might appear that this is something the public is demanding. If so, why the delay in implementing the rule? And why is the automobile industry fighting back so hard? It appears that there is no objection to back-up cameras, just the nuances of the camera. From USA Today: