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Wrong-way crashes a scourge in Maryland

Medical malpractice, workers' compensation and auto accidents -- these are the legal topics that we'll discuss each week on this blog, which we started as a way of sharing stories with readers in the Annapolis area. If you have injury-related concerns, then you may want to return to this blog every so often to learn about issues that are relevant to Maryland law.

Everyone knows, or should know, that there are certain risks attached to driving or riding in a car. Even a cursory glance of news headlines reveals the devastation that can occur when negligent drivers get behind the wheel. Head-on collisions are a particular problem in Maryland, and the National Transportation Safety Board is working to reduce the number of wrong-way crashes that happen each year.

According to the NTSB, about 360 deaths occur annually on U.S. roads as a result of wrong-way auto accidents. In the last several years, nearly a dozen Maryland residents died between the beltway and Interstate 97 in head-on crashes.

NTSB statistics show that most of these crashes happen in the evening and early-morning hours, and alcohol plays a role in about 60 percent of wrong-way collisions. About a fifth of these crashes take the life of someone involved.

Better signage on the roadways would undoubtedly help, as would safety features on GPS devices, but sometimes preventable accidents happen beyond the victim's control. In these cases, injured parties or their families need to be aware of their options under Maryland's personal injury laws. Recovering from a violent auto accident is difficult enough without having to confront financial troubles resulting from the crash.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Wrong Way Crash Combat: National Transportation Safety Board Takes Action," Adam May, May 9, 2013

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