Driver Safety

Safe Driving Starts With You

Between the large number of pedestrians and cyclists, driving on campus can be challenging. Even at low speeds, one moment of distracted or erratic driving can cause serious injuries or fatalities on our roads.

Likelihood of Fatality or Severe Injury

Source: Maryland Motor Vehicle Association, 2023. Learn more about the rising number of injuries and fatalities on our local roadways with this interactive dashboard 

Before you get behind the wheel, review these guidelines for how to protect yourself and your fellow Terps. You are an important part of creating a safe and respectful transportation environment on campus.

Share the Road

Maryland State Law indicates that bicycles and e-scooters must be operated on the road. They are required to follow all traffic laws, and have the same right of way and must follow the same traffic laws that motorists do. 

Never honk, attempt to intimidate, or rush other road users off the road. Leave them plenty of space, at least 3 feet when passing and 3-4 seconds following distance when driving behind.

Slow down and obey the speed limit and road signs

Speed is the leading cause of injury and fatality in our state, with speeding involved in over 9,000 collisions on average in Maryland alone. As you speed, your field of vision significantly narrows, making you less likely to see vulnerable road users on your periphery with every 10 mph you drive.

Follow posted speed limits and come to a complete stop at stop signs. By doing so, you’ll allow yourself adequate time to react to pedestrians, micromobility riders, and other drivers.

Visability increases by lowering speed

Lowering your speed significantly increases your awareness of others on the road (UN Habitat, 2020).

Look out!  Yield to people walking, biking, or scooting

Stop well in advance of the crosswalk and yield to pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, skaters, and wheelchairs ahead of you. These actions will keep sight of the crosswalk clear to all drivers in your lane.

Motorists must yield the right-of-way to cyclists or scooter riders who are making a turn. 

Look for micromobility operators before opening your door

Door-related accidents can cause serious injury to cyclists and e-scooter operators. Turn and look over your shoulder to ensure the lane is clear before opening your door. Tip: After parallel parking, use your right hand to open the door before you exit. This move is called the Dutch Reach and will quickly guide your line of sight to check your mirrors, and scan the door zone. 

Allow at least 3 feet when passing bikes or e-scooters

When passing bikes or e-scooter, allow at least 3 feet of space. If necessary, drivers are permitted to cross the center line to pass micromobility vehicles. Do not return to the original lane until you can see the vehicle you just passed in your rearview mirror. 
If you do not have at least 3 feet of space then do not pass. Remain behind the bicycle or e-scooter and exercise patience until you can pass safely.

3 feet when passing

Do not drive distracted or impaired

Put down the cell phone! Taking your eyes off the road for a moment can cause serious injury or death to you, pedestrians, micromobility operators, or other motorists. If you need to make a phone call or send a text message, use hands free technology or pull over into a safe location before doing so.

Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are too impaired to drive consider using Shuttle-UM or NITE Ride service to get home safely.