GLEN BURNIE, MD (December 30, 2021) – As Marylanders look ahead to a fresh start in 2022, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office (MHSO) reminds drivers it is the choice and responsibility of every motorist to Be the Driver – Who Saves Lives.
In 2020, more than 88 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in Maryland were attributed to impairment, distraction, speeding and aggressive driving behaviors by drivers. The following seven resolutions are a great way for motorists to start the year off on the right note and help eliminate motor vehicle fatalities on Maryland roadways.
1. Be the SOBER driver
Impaired driving contributes to about one-third of Maryland’s annual highway fatalities. In 2022, take advantage of many options available to avoid getting behind the wheel impaired, including: staying sober, calling a friend, or deciding to use a ride share service or public transportation.
2. Be the SLOW DOWN driver
Speed-related fatalities spiked in 2020 by nearly 45 percent – from 76 related fatalities in 2019 to 110 in 2020. Although traffic volume has returned close to pre-pandemic levels, motorists are still traveling at high rates of speed, increasing the risks of getting into a crash resulting in serious injury or a fatality to themselves or other road users. It is important to remember that speed limits are set for ideal conditions, so motorists should adjust their speed accordingly in inclement weather.
3. Be the BUCKLED UP driver
Seat belts are proven to be the first and best defense to save a life in a crash. In 2021, be the driver who resolves to make sure EVERY person in the vehicle is buckled up, EVERY ride. Parents and guardians should ensure children are in proper child safety seats for their age, weight, and height. See child passenger safety guidance here.
4. Be the FOCUSED driver
Driving takes your full attention. While cell phone use is a main contributor to distracted driving, other actions can be just as distracting, such as eating, applying makeup, tending to children or other passengers, and even changing radio stations. In 2022, be the driver who eliminates distractions while driving.
5. Be the SHARE THE ROAD driver
Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians share a responsibility to ensure every person arrives at their destination safely. Drivers are reminded to stop for pedestrians and remain vigilant in high pedestrian traffic areas, especially with less daylight hours.
6. Be the LOOK TWICE driver
Cars are surrounded by blind spots, which can make it difficult to see motorcycles. Drivers should signal their intention and look twice before switching lanes, giving motorcyclists ample time to react. Motorcyclists are also reminded to practice safe riding behaviors and never ride impaired.
7. Be the MOVE OVER driver
Motorists in Maryland must move over when approaching emergency, law enforcement, tow truck, utility, and transportation vehicles while they are stopped, standing, or parked on a highway with their red, amber, or yellow lights flashing. If it is not safe or feasible to move over, motorists must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.
The MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office wishes Marylanders and all travelers a safe and happy 2022. For more tips and resources for staying safe on Maryland roads, or to learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office, visit ZeroDeathsMD.gov or follow MHSO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.