Distracted driving can include a range of activities, from putting makeup on to texting or changing the radio dial. Because of the increasing number of distracted driving, the state of Maryland cracks down on this driving habit by enacting stricter laws and penalties for drivers who are convicted of distracted driving.
Kinds of Distractive Driving
There are three major kinds of distractive driving and all of these make a driver a hazard to himself and others.
- Manual distractions. These refer to distractions that take off a driver’s hand off the wheel. They include anything that involves the use of the hands such as eating, grooming, drinking or smoking.
- Visual distractions. These include removing the eyes from the road. This puts drivers at risk as they may not know what is happening outside their windshield. These distractions include browsing on the playlist, operating the GPS or reading phone messages.
- Cognitive distractions. These involve taking one’s mind off the road. Cognitive distractions can happen as drivers cannot focus because of certain life situations such as a recent argument with a loved one. Other examples include talking to passengers or daydreaming.
Maryland Cell Phone Laws
Drivers in Maryland are prohibited from using their mobile devices that don’t have hands-free capabilities. The only situations where drivers (more than 18 years old) are allowed to use their phones are when they use a wired headset, a Bluetooth wireless device or a speakerphone. Texting while driving is a serious violation of the law. Those who will be caught will be fined $75 for a first offense and $175 for a repeat offense. Drivers who will be caught texting while driving will be called by an officer for a pullover. Apart from fines, such violation could impose points on a driver’s license.
In case a texting driver causes a car accident, he will have to face more serious penalties. Once convicted, the driver can face up to a year in jail plus a $5,000 fine.
With a lot of things on your mind, keeping your hands on the wheel and your mind on the road at all times can be hard. However, you have to keep yourself and other road users safe by not practicing distracted driving. In case you will be in a car accident that resulted from the other driver’s distracted driving, collect evidence, get a medical examination, and call a trusted car accident lawyer.