Articles Posted in Cell Phone

Car accident investigators are blaming a driver who was distracted by his cell phone for the death of one woman and the injury of two others Monday night in Kent.

The King County Sheriff’s office said the driver of a Ford sedan drifted across the center line at 148th Avenue Southeast and struck a Honda civic, killing Sherri White, 25, and injuring two of her passengers.

Police said the driver of the Ford had looked down at his phone prior to the 8pm car accident.

Cell Phones and Car Accidents

Cell phones and electronic devices are increasingly being blamed for being factors in car crashes. One safety advocate, Deborah Hersman of the National Safety Council, estimates that 25% of all car accidents are linked to electronic devices.

Washington state Vehicle Code, RCW 46.61.668 “Sending, Reading, or Writing a Text Message While driving” prohibits a driver for making a phone call while driving or from sending, reading or writing a text message.

A driver who uses a cell phone and causes an accident that results in the death of another may be found guilty of Vehicular Homicide. Vehicular Homicide can be charged if a person dies as a result of negligent operation of a vehicle and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without regard to the safety of others.

Experts in the field report that cell-phone use by drivers is as dangerous as drinking and driving and results in up to 1,000 people are killed every year and many other injured due to negligent driving where cell phone use is a factor.

One in 10 drivers admits to using a cell phone while driving. The Farber Law Group urges you to drive responsibly for your safety and for the safety of others on the roads.

What to do if your family member has been killed

If your family member has been killed because of the negligent use of an automobile, you may be able to make a claim for wrongful death against the defendant whose negligent caused your loved one’s death. In order to hold a defendant liable in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs (the relatives or estate of the person killed) must meet a burden of proof that the defendant failed to provide the victim a duty of care.

A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can answer your questions about how to proceed with your suit. At The Farber Law Group, we have more than 30 years experience representing families with their wrongful death claims.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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The Washington State patrol says that texting and alcohol were factors when a pickup truck driver struck a bicyclist on State Route 410 near 166th around 10pm on Thursday.

The pickup truck driver faces vehicular assault charges. Washington State vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 states that a person can be charged with vehicular assault if a person is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of an intoxicant or driving without regard to the safety of others.

The unidentified bicyclist is a Bonney Lake man, 43. He is at Good Samaritan Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The pickup truck driver is a 23-year-old man from Lake Tapps. The Washington State Patrol reported that he drifted onto the shoulder where the bicyclist was riding.

A conviction of vehicular assault can result in serious penalties including revocation of driving privileges.

In addition to criminal charges, victims of vehicular assault can file a civil suit requesting compensation for their damages which can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been the victims of negligent drivers. With our help, you obtain compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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accident caused by cell phone It doesn’t take a university study to tell me that we have a big problem with texting and driving. Every afternoon when I walk my dog, I observe driver after driver talking on their cell phone, looking at their cell phone and texting. Yesterday in the QFC parking lot, a woman had a difficult time parking because, not only was she talking on her cell phone, but she had her dog in her lap.

No doubt about it, many Washingtonians are doing everything but paying attention to their driving and the road ahead as they motor down Washington’s streets and highways. This has lead many to call distracted driving a “dangerous epidemic.” It is estimated that in 2011, more than 3,000 Americans were killed in accidents in which driver distraction was a factor.

According a University of Washington study, 8% of motorists are distracted by their devices. The study observed 7,800 who were driving through intersections in six of Washington’s counties. Almost 50% of the drivers of the distracted drivers were observed texting.

The Washington State Patrol in King County have been conducting cell phone emphasis patrols over the last month and a half and ticketing drivers using cell phones, texting or were otherwise distracted. In the six week period, they issued 1,100 citations for using cell phones and 180 citations for texting

“Despite the warnings in the media, we still found a lot of drivers without their full attention on the road. This special campaign is over but officers and troopers continue to be on the lookout for cell phone violations.”

— Lt. Mike Rupert of the Washington State Patrol.

Washington state passed a texting ban in 2007 and bans all kinds of electronic devices from being used by teen-aged drivers. A violation of the law results in a $124 fine. The fine can go higher if the distracted driving resulted in a motor vehicle accident.

Despite the bans, the WSP says that many track backups are caused by drivers who are distracted because they are texting or reading data on their cell phones. According to WSP Chief John Batististe, “We think texting is a factor in far more of these minor collisions than we’ll ever be able to prove.”

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by an inattentive driver, you may be able to file a claim for negligence against that driver. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can seek compensation for your damages including medical costs, rehabilitation costs, loss of wages and for pain and suffering.
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There is probably no greater example of the death and destruction caused by distracted driving than the recent Spanish train derailment in which 79 people were killed and many more were injured, 70 injured, 22 critically.

Investigators have discovered that the train operator, Francisco Garzon, 52, had accepted a phone call from the national train company moments before the accident. He was also reportedly consulting paper documents when the train derailed.

Trains are equipped with the same black box data recorders that airplanes are equipped with and reports say that the train was traveling at 119 miles per hour, or double the speed limit, when it derailed.

Garzon has been charged with 79 counts of homicide in the accident in which two American women were killed.

In 2008, there was a Metrolink commuter train accident in California in which 25 people were killed and many people critically injured. IN that accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed the train’s engineer for the accident after finding that he was texting while on duty.

Distracted Driving a Major Problem on US Roads and Highways

bellevue car accident attorneyDistracted driving is called an “epidemic” and it is believed that 3,000 people were killed in 2011 due to distracted driving.

Anything that takes ones eyes off of the primary task of driving can potentially cause a serious car accident in which someone is killed or injured. It’s hard to understand why people text and drive when the practice is so dangerous. People often think that the statistics just do not apply to them or they are more concerned about staying connected with family or friends.

Texting is an especially dangerous distraction because it requires involvement of visual, manual and cognitive faculties all at the same time. Reading or sending a text message causes a driver to take their eyes off of the road for up to 5 seconds, and in that time, if one is driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour, they have driven the length of a football field.
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A couple who both lost a leg after they were hit by a teenage driver, Kyle Best, who was texting when he hit their motorcycle, have settled their lawsuit for $500,000, the limits of the teenage driver’s insurance policy.

bellevue car accident attorneyThe 2009 accident occurred when Best, 19, was distracted while texting and crossed into the Kubert’s lane.

The motorcycle accident left David and Linda Kubert in bad financial straits because neither of them have been able to return to work after the accident.

The couple had also filed suit against Best’s girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, claiming that Colonna, who had been texting Best, played a factor in the accident. However, the judge in the case, Superior Court Judge David Rand ruled that Colonna could not be held civilly liable for aiding and abetting Best’s conduct. The Kuberts are appealing the judges ruling.

Best was not charged in criminal court but he did plead guilty in Municipal Court for using a hand-held cell phone while driving. He is required to pay fines of less than $1,000 and to speak at 14 high schools about the dangers of texting and driving.
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Aaron Deveau, 18, of Massachusetts, was convicted of vehicular homicide, negligently driving a vehicle and texting while driving in the car accident that killed Donald Bowley, 55, and seriously injured his girlfriend, Luz Roman, 59.

Deveau was at the wheel of a car that crossed the centerline in a northeast Massachusetts town and struck Bowley’s car head-on. Bowley died about a month after the accident when he was taken off of life support.

The prosecutor alleged that Deveau was texting shortly before the accident. Deveau denied that he was texting but the prosecutor alleges he had deleted some of the text massages. Records show that Deveau had sent and receive more than 200 text messages on the day of the accident but of course only the messages sent and received directly before the accident are relevant.

Deveau received a two and a half year sentence for vehicular homicide and two years on the texting causing injury charge but he will only serve one year with a suspended sentence suspended for 5 years. He will be prohibited from driving for 15 years.

This case certainly illustrates the consequences of texting and distracted driving. A teenage driver faces a prison sentence, Donald Bowley is dead and his girlfriend has suffered disabling injuries and has suffered the loss of the love and companionship of her boyfriend.

Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to have a crash and reduces a driver’s reaction time by 35%. That’s why many states, Washington included, have enacted bans on cellular phones while driving.

Washington state, like most all other states prohibits drivers from sending and receiving text messages while operating a motor vehicle. Washington State police are on the lookout for people who break the state’s ban on cell phone use while driving. Besides the texting ban, Washington state also bans all drivers ages 18 and younger to driving using a hands-free device.
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The National Highway Transportation Safety Board just released the results of study which attempted to do a “snapshot” of where the nation is with distracted driving. What they found may surprise; With all the laws and bans on hand-held cell phones and the prohibition of texting while driving, the practice is going up, especially with drivers between the ages of 21 and 24.

The study revealed that 50% of drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 admit to e-mailing or texting while driving.

The practice of texting, emailing or surfing the web is so ubiquitous that 1 in 100 car drivers are doing at any one time.

It should come to no surprise that teenage drivers drive better when their parents are in the car.

The National Institutes of Health and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute used cameras and sensor to observe teenage drivers while driving alone, with friends and with their parents. They tracked accidents and near accidents and also measured risky driving procedures including:bellevue motor vehicle accident

  • Accelerating rapidly
  • Breaking hard
  • Making hard turns

What they found was that teenager drivers had 75% fewer near crashes and their risky driving behaviors fell 67% when their parents were in the car.

When teenagers drove with other teenagers in the vehicle, they had as many near crashes as when they were driving alone. However, their risky driving behaviors were 18% less frequent than when the teenager drove alone.

Driving Behaviors Over Time

The study found that teenager drivers continued risky driving behavior even as they gained experience behind the wheel. The study found calculated the crashes and near crashes per kilometer driven and found that teens averaged 10 per 16,000 kilometers during the 18 months of the study while the parents averaged 2.

Graduated Licensing in Washington State
Washington state, like many states, has a graduated driver’s license for teenage drivers. For the first 6 months after a teen obtains their driver’s license, they cannot drive with passengers under the age of 20 unless the passenger is a family member. For the next six months, they are not allowed to carry more than 3 passengers who are under the age of 20 that are not family members.

The graduated driver license also prohibits driving between 1am and 5am unless with a driver age 25 or older. Teens are also prohibited from using a wireless device including hands-free cell phones.
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Joseph Brynda, 20, was sentenced to serve 7 years in prison for the pedestrian accident death of Phillip Rangel, 60, who was killed while walking in a crosswalk in 2009. According to testimony, Brynda was texting and driving with his knees when he hit and killed Rangel.

The Cook County, Illinois, jury heard that Brynda was also driving under the influence of marijuana and freon when the pedestrian accident occurred.

bellevue car accident attorneyThe Chicago Sun-Times reported that Brynda had a history of driving offenses. According to their report, Brynda had eight previous driving offenses ranging from failing to yield to emergency vehicles, speeding, disobeying traffic signals. He had also previously been involved in an injury accident.

Everyone knows that texting while driving is illegal yet there are so many instances of people who have been killed because of texting drivers.

It is not uncommon for a a driver who was texting while driving to also be under the influence of alcohol or drugs as in this case. People who engage in high risk activities such as drinking and driving will often engage in other high-risk activities such as speeding, flagrantly disobeying traffic laws and texting.

In April of this year, Danae Marie Miller, a 22-year-old California woman, was charged with vehicular manslaughter when she hit and killed bicyclist Armine Britel, 40. Like Brynda, Miller was texting when the bicycle-car accident occurred and she was under the influence. Like Brynda, Miller had a history of numerous traffic citations including one for using a cell phone while driving.

Studies show that texting while driving delays a driver’s response time by 35% and increases the probably of an accident 23 times. Combine texting with driving and alcohol or drugs and you are an accident waiting to happen.

Plainly stated, texting while driving puts anyone who uses the road – drivers, walkers and bicyclists – at risk.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car crash, or a loved one killed, and someone else was texting or driving drunk, you may be able to file a civil suit in King County, Washington seeking compensation for your damages. The Farber Law Group, a personal injury attorney specializing in serious personal injuries and wrongful death, will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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A Washington State Patrol media release says King County troopers are enforcing the cell phone ban by stopping and ticketing drivers.

According to the WSP, last month, troopers stopped 370 drivers for using a hand-held cell phone and 43 drivers for texting while driving. More than one half of the drivers were issued a ticket which will cost them $124 for using a hand-held device while driving.

Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61.667 is the statute that prohibits a motorist from driving while talking on a cell phone. Vehicle code 46.61.668 prohibits reading, writing or sending a text message while driving.

Washington’s cell phone ban was effective as of July 1, 2008. The legislature enacted the cell phone laws after the Highway Loss Data Institute cited studies that texting while driving may increase the risk of a car accident by 23 times.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has found that emphasis patrols, whether they are targeting drunken drivers, seat belt violators or cell phone users saves lives.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.

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