Whenever we get behind the wheel, we encounter a multitude of risky situations. In most cases, we were able to prevent or to avoid hazards that could have otherwise resulted in serious collisions. Because there are as many types of auto accidents as there are risks and roadways, the law recognizes certain situations that may require special handling:
Boulevard Rule Violations
Under Maryland law, certain roads are considered to be "favored highways." A car on a favored highway is the favored vehicle, and the car on the unfavored highway is the unfavored car. The driver of the unfavored car must stop before entering upon the highway and yield the right-of-way to the favored car, provided the favored driver is operating lawfully. The favored driver may assume that the unfavored driver will stop and yield the right-of-way.
The law books are filled with many rules of the road that we learned before getting our driver's license. These statutes govern the operation of motor vehicles, telling us how to signal, turn and change lanes, controlling the speed of our vehicles, and specifying a range of safety regulations. If a driver violates one of these laws, and the violation caused an accident, such a violation is considered to be evidence of negligence. When accidents result from a driver's violation of such statutes, the violation itself is considered evidence of negligence. While the driver may present other evidence in her own defense, this is still a factor in evaluating liability in an auto tort case.
A person is liable for negligent entrustment who, directly or through a third person, supplies an item of personal property for the use of another, who, the person knows or has reason to know, is likely, because of youth, inexperience, or otherwise, to use it in a manner involving an unreasonable risk of harm to himself or herself or to others. Thus, parents are not strictly liable for the negligent driving of their children. But if they know that their "wild child" is wild behind the wheel, but put this menace on the roadway nonetheless, they could be held liable.
The law imposes upon the operators of vehicles and pedestrians using a public street or highway the same duty, each to exercise ordinary care. These duties are reciprocal. The vehicle operators must exercise ordinary care so as to avoid injuring others and the pedestrians must exercise ordinary care so as to protect the pedestrians' safety. When persons are using, or are about to use a public street or highway either as the operators of vehicles or as pedestrians, they have a duty to keep a proper lookout and make reasonable observations as to the traffic and other conditions which confront them To protect themselves and others while using the streets and highways. What observations they should make and what they should do for their own safety and the safety of others are matters which the law does not attempt to regulate in detail, except that it does place on these people the continuing duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid an accident.