As we reported on Monday, several laws in Maryland went into effect on October 1 that will influence Maryland drivers.
In addition to the tow truck law that passed, the Maryland Senate voted to approve “Jake’s Law”, which increased penalties for distracted drivers who contribute to accidents that result in injuries or death.
The law was named after Jake Owen, a five-year-old who was killed in 2011 in an auto accident on Interstate 83, near the Beltway. According to WBAL Radio, a driver who was using a handheld phone and driving struck Owens’ family car.
Jake’s Law imposes a three-year jail term and 12 points on a person’s license if he or she is using a handheld device at the time of an accident that causes injuries or death, as well as potential fines totaling $5,000.
For more information about the law, you can visit the Change for Jake Foundation website.
It is well known that handheld devices cause distractions for drivers. These include visual distractions, as his or her eyes are off the road, and manual distractions as he or she takes his or her hand off the wheel.
In addition, these devices can impair you judgment, as they take your mind off driving. It was estimated in 2011 by the National Safety Council that 28 percent of all auto accidents involved drivers using a cellular phone at the time of the crash. Avoid doing this, as it is hazardous.
Keep in mind, if you have been involved in a vehicle accident due to a distracted driver, you could hold him or her liable for the reckless action. Contact us today. Please view the video above, which discusses distracted driving accidents and your rights.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.
Did you know? A 2013 study showed that 83 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 talk, text or use the internet on their cell phone while driving.