Traffic Deaths In Md. On The Rise

More than 500 were recorded in 2015.

It’s an unfortunate trend in Maryland and the rest of the nation. The State Department of Transportation say 520 people died in fatal crashes on Maryland roads in 2015. That’s an increase from 443 who were killed in 2014. In Frederick County, there were 21 fatal crashes in 2015, which is an increase from 17 the previous year, according to MDOT.

It could be that more vehicles are on the road, says spokesman Buel Young with the Motor Vehicle Administration. “We’ve experienced record low gas over the last couple of years. More vehicle miles traveled so individuals are in their car more which presents opportunities,” he says.

Young also says there’s no one main cause for all of these vehicle crashes. “Those things that historically lead the way in causes of crashes on our highways are impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, not wearing your seatbelt and not using a crosswalk,” he says.

This data was released on Tuesday at an event that kicked Maryland’s implementation of a five-year plan to combat traffic crashes resulting in serious injuries or death called the Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

But, Young  says, the state is also working now  to help reduce traffic deaths. “The Hogan Administration has targeted law enforcement to assist them in catching and arresting drunk drivers,” says Young. “There’s money invested in education. There’s money invested in our infrastructure to fix the structures that are deficient in the state.”

However, Young says motorists can help reduce traffic fatalities by not driving drunk, not speeding and not talking on their  cell phones  while driving. Along with that, motorists are urged to wear seatbelts and use crosswalks.

But pedestrian can to their part. “Be vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings. Make sure that you’re not stepping out when a speeding vehicle is coming down the road because that vehicle is going to win that collision,” says Young.