|REMINDER: IT'S ILLEGAL TO TEXT AND DRIVE.
The Driving while Texting Law prohibits a person from using a text messaging device to write or send a text message while operating a motor vehicle in motion or in the travel portion of the roadway; specifying exceptions for use of a global positioning system, or text messaging to contact a 9-1-1 system; etc. The Maryland law makes the activity a misdemeanor crime. A civil penalty will be imposed and a fine of not more than $500.00 can be enforced if convicted.
Let Technology Remove the Urge to Text
"More than 1 trillion text messages were sent worldwide last year. Undoubtedly many of those texts were created and transcribed while in a vehicle, oftentimes by the driver of that vehicle. A report by the National Safety Council found cell phone use leads to about 1.6 million crashes a year, about 200,000 of those crashes are caused by texting while driving. Studies show teenagers are especially prone to text and drive, with a recent survey showing 46 percent of drivers ages 16 to 17 admit to texting while driving.
We all know that texting while driving is not a safe decision - for your well-being and for everyone else with whom you share the road with. In Maryland, legislators deemed it so dangerous that they banned the act of texting-while-driving in 2009. However, human nature often prevails when we hear the sound of an incoming text message. Cell phone application developers have picked up on this behavior and have made several applications that remove that ability to send or receive texts while a vehicle is in motion. Below is a listing of several of these applications, with a side-by-side comparison of their features and prices.
For a PDF version, please click here."
Today there are more than 18.9 million licensed drivers in the U.S. who are 70 or older. It is important to know that getting older doesn't automatically turn people into bad drivers. It’s important to remember that most seniors are capable, and have a lifetime of valuable driving experience. Decisions about a person’s ability to drive should never be based on age alone.
A leading cause of accidental death among older persons is automobile crashes. While health problems can affect driving at any age, some occur more often as drivers get older. The fact is bodies physically change with age. Declining vision, limited mobility, slower reflexes has a profound impact on the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Self-awareness is crucial. People who can accurately assess their fitness to drive can adjust their driving habits and stay safe on the road. They will retain the personal mobility that comes with driving while limiting the risks to themselves and to others. It’s not always obvious when a general health problem, vision problem, or a side effect of medications will lead to a driving impairment.
Tips for Older Drivers
- Plan your activities and appointments so you can avoid driving between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- If you are taking medication, be sure to consult with your doctor and pharmacist about how it could affect your driving. Some medication can limit or impair your ability to drive.
- Take time to prepare. Know your driving route(s) and take familiar roads.
- Give yourself space and time to react. Allow space for emergency braking or for avoiding a crash. Use proper signaling and make your lane changes gradually.
- Avoid driving at dusk or dawn, when visibility is most difficult.
- Always buckle-up
Checklist for Older Drivers
- Listen to what people tell you who know best and care the most about you.
- Discuss driving with your doctor—he or she can evaluate the interactions and side effects of medications you may be taking.
- Refresh your knowledge of safe driving practices and learn about new traffic control and roadway
design features through a mature driver class.
- Begin planning for alternative ways of meeting your mobility needs. Now is the time to learn about
mobility options in your community—try them out…see what works best for you.
Maryland Fast Facts
- In 2006, 112 people died in crashes involving older drivers between the ages of 65 and 100.
- In 2006, 7,125 people were injured in crashes involving older drivers between the ages of 65 and 100.
- There were more than 10,300 crashes in 2006 involving older drivers.
- The highest percentage of older driver crashes occurs between 10 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- The two most prevalent types of older driver crashes were rear-end and angle crashes.
In 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 202,000 older individuals were injured in traffic crashes, accounting for 8 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. These older individuals made up 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 14 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities, and 19 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and its partners in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, created GrandDriver, a pilot program that provides information about aging and driving. GrandDriver is urging the public-particularly drivers over 65 and their adult children-to learn more about the effects of aging on our ability to drive and to talk about these issues.
For more information on GrandDriver, please visit http://www.granddriver.info
To find a Mature Driver Education Class in your area:
— Toll Free: 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669)
— AAA Safe Driving for Mature Drivers
(Call your local AAA club for availability of classes)
For more information about benefits and services for older
persons provided by the Agency on Aging in your area:
— Senior Information & Assistance Programs
Toll Free: 1-800-AGE-DIAL (1-800-243-3425)