Cellular phones, a novelty a scarce 15 years ago, have now become ubiquitous in Maryland and across the United States. One can see people using them while walking down the street, in line at the supermarket and while eating at a restaurant. Unfortunately, many people also use their cell phones while they are in the car. This usage can lead to catastrophic consequences, as a distraction of even a few seconds can prove deadly for the driver of a moving vehicle and those sharing the road with him or her.
Because of this, Maryland has passed laws that limit the use of cell phones while driving. In fact, it is illegal in the state for anyone operating a motor vehicle to use a hand-held cellular device. This includes taking and receiving calls, sending or checking messages or any other use that may result in the distraction of the driver from his or her task. Further, drivers under the age of 18 who have learner’s permits or provisional licenses may not use a cell phone at all, even in conjunction with a hands-free device.
Texting while driving is prohibited for everyone, regardless of age or driving experience. This includes sending or looking at texts while stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal. These prohibitions are for the safety of everyone on the road, including the distracted driver. It is an unfortunate fact that distracted drivers are involved in many accidents on Maryland’s roadways every year. These accidents cause untold damage, both in monetary terms, and in the pain of human injury and loss of life.
While the law is meant to protect people using the roads in the state, not everyone follows it. When people are injured or killed in a car crash that was caused by a distracted driver, they may be entitled to legal compensation. While no amount of money can turn back time and prevent an injury or loss of life, it can help to defray the costs of medical care or ease the suffering of loved ones.