But MDOT says pedestrian fatalities decreased in 2019.
Glen Burnie, Md (KM) There’s been an increase in the number of traffic fatalities in Maryland. The Department of Transportation says there were 530 deaths on Maryland roads in 2019, which is a 3.7% jump. . That compares to 512 deaths the previous year.
But MDOT says there’s some good news to report in these statistics. Pedestrian fatalities dropped by 7.5% to 123 last year, and that’s from 133 in 2018. However, the number of bicycle fatalities went up from six in 2018 to ten 2019.
Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer says these statistics are more than just numbers. “These are individuals. These are family members. These are friends. And people whose lives are changed forever’,” she says. “So it’s important to remember there are stories and faces behind those numbers.”
Nizer says these numbers of fatal crashes fluctuate each year, but, in most instances, the causes remain the same. “We know that over 97% of crashes are based on human error. So those crashes are really preventable, and it’s up to each of us to take that responsibility to prevent those fatalities for happening going forward,” she says.
Another reason for some of these crashes is speed. “What we’re seeing right now with the Governor’s stay-at-home order is fewer vehicles on the roadway. But unfortunately, those vehicles are traveling at a faster rate of speed,” says Nizer.
She says it’s important to adjust your speed to road conditions. “We really need to remember that, unfortunately, when crashes at that high rate of speed, it is more likely to result in a fatality,” says Nizer.
MDOT says other safety tips for driving include buckling up every seat, every time, sharing the road with other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians and eliminating distractions, including the cell phone. “Put it away, out of reach, out of sight,” says Nizer. “And when you get your destination, you can look at whatever messages you have at that point. But please put that phone down.”
Nizer says there were 24 traffic fatalities in Frederick County in 2019.
By Kevin McManus