Articles Posted in Auto Safety

i 90 car accident lawyerThanksgiving is nearly upon us and many motorists will be traveling over mountain passes to be with friends and family. It is incumbent on motorist to prepare their vehicles for winter driving conditions.

The weather on the mountain passes can change from hour to hour and motorists are advised to check the pass reports before traveling. There are several websites and travel apps that can help including, You can also follow the Washington DOT reports on Snoqualmie Pass on Twitter at @snoqualmiepass. The DOT has a helpful app to load onto your smart phone.

Prepare your vehicle for winter driving

One never knows when traveling across the passes when a blizzard will hit or when the pass might close temporarily due to avalanche, accidents or road clearing.

When you are planning a trip over Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass, be sure your car is equipped with basic items including chains, ice scraper, jumper cables, small shovel, sand or cat litter.

Make sure you are prepared for the comfort of your passengers including extra clothing, blankets, gloves, water, flashlight and food. If you are traveling with small children, be sure to bring extra diapers.

Be sure your gas tank is full before embarking on your journey.

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

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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teen_driver.jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published a list of the recommended used cars and SUVs for teens that sell for under $20,000.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses – deaths, injuries and property damage – from crashes on the nation’s roads.

In choosing a recommended vehicle list for teenage drivers, the IIHS looked for both affordability and safety. When teens drive the “wrong car” — a car without certain safety features and one that is too powerful, it is too easy for them to lose control. Large cars also present a challenge in tight driving situations.

The IIHS makes the following recommendations when selecting a vehicle for a teenage driver:

  • Avoid vehicles with high horsepower, i.e., muscle cars.
  • Heavier and bigger vehicles provide better protection in a car accident.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is aa computerized technology which is a must have safety feature on cars for teenage drivers. ESC detects skidding and improves a vehicle’s stability especially around curves. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that one-third of all fatal car accidents.
  • Pay attention to safety ratings. The IIHS rates vehicles on how well they do in different types of crash tests.

Check on the IIHS website for the comprehensive list of recommended used cars for teenage drivers.

Common mistakes made by teen drivers

Teenage drivers are inexperienced drivers so they make a lot of these common mistakes:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Risky driving practices including not checking blind spots, unsafe lane changes, and not using turn signals.
  • Failing to leave a safe following distance.
  • Failing to wear a seat belt.
  • Over-correcting.
  • Driving while tired.
  • Driving with teenage passengers.

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A 23-year-old man is lucky to be alive after the front-end of the Cadillac he was driving was sheared off in a “horrific” car accident in South Seattle.

The car accident occurred in the 7300 block of Airport Way in South Seattle about 9:40 p.m when the man lost control of his vehicle and stuck a power pole and a tree.

The injured man was found lying outside of his vehicle when aid cars arrived and he was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

While a traffic accident investigation is being conducted, it’s hard to speculate on the causes of the car accident. However, the Seattle P-I cited dark and rainy conditions.

For all of us that live in Western Washington, we all know that rain is often heavy and that it is especially difficult to drive in heavy rain during darkness. When driving in rain, it is important to slow down and keep the following safety tips in mind.

Safety tips for driving in rain

When you are driving in heavy rain, visibility is decreased and hindered, so the following tips can help you avoid an accident.

  • Check your tires for tread and for proper inflation to avoid getting into a hydroplaning situation.
  • Avoid flooded roads and intersections. You never know when a flooded road can cause your vehicle to stall or when a flash flood could carry your vehicle away.
  • Check your brakes to make sure they are not saturated after driving through a puddle by braking lightly.
  • Slow down. Stopping distances are longer in the rain.
  • Turn gently. Turn gently on curves as your stopping and on highway on/off ramps as stopping distances are longer in the rain.
  • Don’t follow too closely so you can react if a car brakes suddenly.
  • Use your low beams as high beams as rain can create a glare.
  • Use your turn signal to let other drivers know of your intentions.
  • Pull over and quit driving when rain is so heavy that you cannot drive safely. Try to pull completely off the road and use your emergency blinkers.

Bellevue Lawyer Represents Car Accident Victims
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injrued in car accidents caused by the negligence of another. With our help, you may receive compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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So far this year, there have been 17 children who have died after being left in a hot car. The problem has awareness ever since the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris and his father’s subsequent arrest.

According to, 670 children have died of heatstroke after being left in a hot vehicle. Every story of a child death is one of unimaginable tragedy.

Quite a few children have been rescued from hot cars this year too because people are aware of the problem and are quick to alert authorities or break into a car to release the child.

Here are some simple tips to avoid accidentally leaving a child in your care in a car:

  • Tilt your rear view mirror so that you can always see the child in your back seat.
  • Place your important belongings such as purse or cell phone in the rear floorboard when traveling with a child so that you will open the rear door to retrieve these items.
  • Place your children’s belongings, a stuffed toy or their diaper bag in the front seat when you travel as a visual reminder.
  • Ask your child’s caregivers to call you if your child has not arrived at n expected time.
  • Avail yourself of technology such as True Fit Alert which is an integrated car seat monitor and that alerts you via your cell phone if your child is out of their seat or if your child is left unattended in their seat and also monitors the ambient temperature in the vehicle.
  • Make sure you lock your car when you have arrived to home to prevent your child from climbing in the vehicle to play.
  • Place your car keys where a child can not get to them.
  • If a child is missing, check your vehicle including the trunk immediately

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent car accident victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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Traffic is going to be horrendous between Bellevue and Seattle from July 18th to July 25th due to Interstate 90 lane closures between Bellevue and Mercer Island. Adjust your travel schedule or you could be facing huge backups.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website, the westbound I-90 will be reduced to one lane at Bellevue Way Southeast from 9:30pm Friday July 18th until 5am, Friday, July 25th for replacement of expansion joints.

The road closure is going to cause for some traffic headaches, if not nightmares. The WSDOT is recommending the following during the closure period. They hope that 60% of the drivers can heed their advice.

seatbelt-602535-m.jpgThe National Safety Council calls the summer months, “100 deadliest days for teen drivers” because car accidents kill more teenagers in the U.S. than any other cause and the rate of deadly crashes increases during summer months.
With Bellevue and Seattle schools now out for summer, let’s take a chance to review the most effective ways to protect our teens as they drive more during the summer.
We have talked a lot about distracted driving and texting and driving but the number one reason teens die in auto accidents is that they were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident yet more than 50% of all teenagers who were killed in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt. Teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, are some of the biggest offenders in not wearing a seat belt.
Importance of Seat Belts
Seat belts save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 15,000 people are saved every year when they are involved in auto accidents because they were wearing a seat belt.
Not only do seat belts save lives but they protect against serious injuries including traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Seat belts prevent injury and death in the following ways:

  1. Prevents the occupants from a car from being thrown from the car. When a person is thrown from the car, they can suffer catastrophic injuries. People who are ejected from a car or truck are nearly four times likely to be killed.
  2. Restrains a person at the hips and shoulders which are the body’s strongest parts.
  3. Spreads collision forces across the body which lessens injury.
  4. Protects the spinal column and the brain.
  5. Slows the body down when the vehicle abruptly stops.

 Suggestions for teens  
A positive approach is a great way to talk to your teenage driver about the benefits of wearing a seatbelt. Remind teens that:

  • Washington law requires seatbelt use by everyone person in their car.
  • Wearing a seatbelt makes them a role model for other people, especially young children, riding in their vehicle.
  • Require passengers to wear a seatbelt because you care about them.
  • Ask friends to wear a seatbelt to avoid a $124 ticket.

Seat a good example for your teen by wearing a seatbelt each and every time that you drive.

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 who have been killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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car-breakdown-633066-m.jpgLast weekend we read about a couple of fatal car accidents that occurred after a car was disabled on the highway and was rear-ended by another vehicle. So, we thought we’d take this opportunity to advise you on what to do if your vehicle breaks down on a busy freeway or highway.

One of the scariest things for any motorist is to have their car or truck break down on a busy highway. It’s especially dangerous during times of busy traffic, after dark or during inclement weather. One must keep their wits about them to insure ones own safety and the safety of passengers in the vehicle.

Whether your tire blew, your engine unexpectedly shut off, you simply ran out of gas, or you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should attempt to get your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible. Try to maneuver your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and onto the shoulder or even beyond the shoulder or emergency lane if possible. You want to avoid the possibility of another car hitting you.

If your vehicle is stopped in lanes of traffic, get out of your vehicle and get to safety if possible. However, you don’t want to be in a situation where you are darting across lanes of traffic because you might get hit. Do not attempt to run across the highway unless you are absolutely sure you can make it.

Call 9-1-1 and let authorities know where you are if your vehicle is stuck in a dangerous place like a bridge or a freeway overpass. The state highway patrol can come and assist you and make sure that you are safe.

Turn on your hazard lights. Don’t turn your vehicle off if possible because you want all of your lights and hazards still working. Raise your hood as another way to alert the highway patrol that you are broken down.

If you remain in your vehicle, keep your seat belt on. On some highways where traffic is moving quickly and drivers are coming home from bars or clubs, you want to make every precaution in case drivers are not paying attention.

Know where you are

When you call for help, one of the most frustrating aspects of a freeway breakdown is not being able to tell the 9-1-1 operator your location. If you don’t know exactly where you are, try to approximate the driving time from a major sign that you saw, or the milepost number. Look for landmarks or businesses alongside the roadway. If you have a GPS on your cellphone, you can locate your position using the GPS.
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The New York Times reports that a train engineer who was at the controls a Metro-North train that derailed killing four people and injuring 70 had severe sleep apnea that had not been diagnosed.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing or breathes shallowly while asleep. The pause in breathing can last from just a few seconds to several minutes and in severe cases, it can occur more than 30 times in an hour.

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disturbance and can cause sleepiness during the day time. Often the disorder goes undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea and sleep deprivation are both linked to motor vehicle accidents and sleepiness, like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can contribute to an accident, especially if the driver falls asleep or zones out at the wheel. A driver who is experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness may be 7-15 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

People in transportation fields such as bus drivers, train operators and heavy equipment operators may pose a danger on the roadways especially when their shifts changes or when they have long shifts.

While the subject of sleep apnea is in the news after the New York train derailment, it’s been a problem that researchers have looked at for a number of years. In 1991, a paper — “Drivers with untreated sleep apnea. A cause of death and serious injury.” — looked at three patients with untreated sleep apnea who fell asleep while driving causing serious motor vehicle accidents. According to the paper, one person was killed, one became a paraplegic and the three drivers with sleep apnea were seriously injured.

Some commercial drivers may resist being tested for sleep apnea for fear that, if they are diagnosed, they may lose their job.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study which measures a person’s Apnea-Hypopnea Index using electrodes. Some indicators for testing is snoring, a high Body Mass Index, Hypertension, Diabetes, daytime fatigue and Cardiovascular Disease though these factors are not always present in people suffering from sleep apnea.

Many states have voluntary reporting of sleep apnea by physicians. While a physician may not be mandated by law to report an impaired river, a physician who believes that a patient’s medical condition impairs safe driving making them a hazard to themselves and others has an ethical duty to report the patient to the Department of Licensing.

Drivers who are involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a sleep disorder may be found liable for the accident. In addition, their employers may also be found negligent. In one such case, the family of Susan Slattery received a $40.8M wrongful death and injury settlement because a semi-truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and the Slattery family estate successfully argued that the truck driver was not properly supervised.

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 caused by the negligence of others.
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A leading cause of car accident deaths among children was the failure of the child to be buckled up either with a seat belt or a car or booster seat according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Failing to buckle a child up runs the risk of the child being ejected from the vehicle in an accident resulting in serious injury or spinal cord injury and even death.

You probably know that motor vehicle accident injuries are the leading cause of death among children but did you know to what extent that the appropriate infant seat, car seat or booster seat saves lives? According to the CDC, using the appropriate infant seat for children under the age of one cuts the risk of death by 71%. For toddlers between ages 1-4, the risk of death is reduced by 54%. Seat belts for older children and adult reduces the risk of death in a car accident by about 50%.

One disturbing statistic for minority children is the fact that nearly 1 in 2 of black (45) and Hispanic (46%) children who were killed in car accidents 2009-2010 were not buckled up.

The CDC is trying to get the word out to parents and care givers that children should be buckled up in an appropriate seat for every car seat. It is estimated that nationwide, as many as 20% of children are not buckled up properly.

It is important that you have the correct fit for your child’s seat, that it fits your vehicle correctly and that you use it each and every time that you drive.

The following graphic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the correct car seat or booster seat by age.
Washington State Seat Belt Laws

Washington state placed a safety seat belt law in effect in 1986. The state considers failing to buckle a child up correctly a primary offense and a police officer can stop a car and a ticket a driver for failing to do so. A driver may be ticketed $124 for failing to buckle up a child age 16 and under. The Washington law also requires children 12 years and younger to be riding in the rear seat of the car if practical and requires children 7 years and younger Continue reading

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