Vehicle Fatalities Down in Maryland

Traffic deaths both in Maryland and nationwide are declining and that is great news http://www.nhtsa.gov/. The early data from 2009 appears to be good as well. This leads to the question of why this is the case and what can be done to further reduce the tragic loss of life on Maryland's roadways?

This article begins a multi-part series examining motor vehicle deaths in Maryland and efforts to reduce them further. It is our hope that the information contained in this series can help focus the publics' attention on how to avoid dangerous places and practices.

The explanations for why fewer people our dieing on Maryland's roads are many. Some attribute the change to the increased prevalence of safer more modern vehicles with air-bags, anti-lock braking systems, vehicle stabilty controls and better rollover protection. Others suggest that changes of Maryland law making the driving age older, requiring many more supervised hours on the road and strictly limiting the times and circumstances under which new drivers can be on the road are responsible. The police attribute much of the increased safety too their greater emphasis on curtailing drunk driving, speeding and other reckless behavior.

One suspects that it is probably a combination of all these factors that is changing things for the better. Still there remain common circumstances in many such cases.

seat belt use has improved but many still die because of the failure to wear one. Alcohol and excessive speed appear frequently despite the best efforts of the police. Motor cyclists still die without helmets and pedestrian deaths, particularly in Prince Georges County are up.