As Maryland grapples with a concerning surge in roadway fatalities, Southern Maryland is notably affected, with preliminary data indicating a distressing total of 38 fatal crashes in the region for the year 2023. Maryland transportation and safety officials are intensifying their call for heightened safety measures, urging all travelers in Southern Maryland to rededicate themselves to road safety.
In October alone, Southern Maryland witnessed a grim toll, with 40 lives lost due to motor vehicle crashes, contributing significantly to the statewide fatality trend. The cumulative fatalities for the region in 2023 stand at 38, underscoring the urgency for immediate attention and adherence to road safety protocols.
The alarming statistics reveal that of the 500 statewide fatalities this year, 38 have occurred in Southern Maryland. This figure includes 118 pedestrians and 14 bicyclists, contributing to an overall 7% increase compared to the same period in 2022. If the current rate persists, Southern Maryland is on track to witness a tragic milestone, surpassing 600 motor vehicle crash fatalities for the year – a figure not reached since 2007.
Officials stress that crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries are preventable and emphasize the importance of following the rules of the road to save lives. The specific reminders for Southern Maryland residents echo the statewide directives:
1. Drive Sober: Motorists in Southern Maryland are urged never to consume alcohol or drugs before driving, recognizing the critical role sobriety plays in ensuring safe journeys on the region’s roads.
2. Buckle Up: The imperative of seatbelt usage is reiterated for all vehicle occupants in Southern Maryland, emphasizing the need for proper restraint in both the front and back seats.
3. Slow Down: Recognizing the unique road conditions of Southern Maryland, officials emphasize the importance of driving at a safe and reasonable speed to prevent accidents.
4. Pay Attention: The call to eliminate distractions and focus on driving is particularly crucial in Southern Maryland, emphasizing the need to keep phones down and eyes up.
5. Share the Road: Drivers in Southern Maryland are reminded to exercise heightened vigilance, looking twice for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists who share the road.
6. Move Over: Southern Maryland motorists are urged to comply with the law, slowing down or moving over for all stopped, standing, or parked vehicles along the roadside.
The focus on Southern Maryland underscores the regional impact of the escalating roadway fatalities, necessitating an urgent and collective commitment to safety. The 38 fatal crashes in the region for 2023 serve as a stark reminder that localized efforts are crucial in reversing this deadly trend, and immediate action is needed to prevent further loss of life on Southern Maryland’s roads.