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Resolve to make 2019 safer on Maryland roadways

Glen Burnie, Md. – In 2017, 558 people were killed on Maryland roads and more than 115,000 crashes were reported statewide.  During a time when many consider what they will do in the New Year, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) offers the following Top 10 resolutions for travelers based on crash and fatality statistics since 2008.

“As we approach the new year, each person has the ability and the responsibility to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” stated Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

1.      Wear a seat belt…every seat…every time. Seat belt usage greatly reduces the severity of injuries. Ensure that all passengers are secured in seatbelts.

2.      Driver sober or designate a sober driver.  Nearly one-third of Maryland fatal crashes involve an impaired driver. Impairment can be a result of alcohol, prescribed medications or illegal substance use in this type of crash.

3.      Share the road. Whether traveling by car, on foot or on bikes, everyone wants to travel and arrive safely to their destinations.  Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians must look up and look out for one another and obey traffic laws and signals.

4.      Focus when driving.  A decision to make a phone call or reaching for snacks can cause you to take your eyes off of the road.

5.      Slow down. Many crashes occur when drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for the conditions on the roadway. Excessive speed is a contributing factor in many crashes and greatly increases their severity.

6.      Choose civility. Following too closely and making abrupt lane changes are examples of aggressive driving behavior. Drivers are encouraged to treat others as they would like to be treated.

7.      Stay alert. Use a different way to reach your destination (i.e. traveling during the day) or take a break if you are sleepy or feeling ill.

8.      Remember the rules of the road and resolve to refresh your driving skills. Failure to yield right of way, obey traffic signals, or parking your vehicle without being aware of others also contributes to crashes.

9.      Keep your vehicle in good working condition. Avoid unnecessary mechanical breakdowns with routine vehicle service checks. Should you experience a mechanical breakdown, pull your vehicle over as far as possible and stay in the vehicle.  Only exit the vehicle if it is safe to do so.  Drivers should dial #77 or 911.

10.     Take the MDOT Traffic Safety Pledge, and ask others to read it and commit to safety. Educating our family, friends, co-workers and classmates helps share the message of responsible, safe driving practices.

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