Articles Posted in Auto Safety

buckle_up.jpgIn an effort to prevent car accident deaths over the Memorial Day weekend, the Washington State Patrol is looking to ticket drivers not wearing seat belts. For the next two weeks, the WSP will be running extra emphasis patrols and stopping and ticketing drivers who are not buckled up.

The WSP ticketed 3,171 seat belt tickets last year at the same time during a two-week “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 52% of people who were killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. By increasing seat belt usage, lives are saved. Seat belts can prevent a passenger being thrown from the car in a rollover car accident and can help prevent spinal cord and traumatic brain injury because a person is not thrown about the car during an accident.

The Patrol will also be pulling over drivers they see using hand-held cell phone devices and ticketing those drivers as well.

Washington State Seat Belt Laws

Washington State has one of the highest seat belt compliance at around 98%. Washington’s seat belt law (RCW 46.61.688) requires:

  • Everyone riding in the vehicle to wear a seat belt
  • Requires the driver to insure that all passengers under the age of 16 to be properly restrained
  • Passengers 16 years or older can be issued a citation if they are not properly restrained.

It is important that there are no more passengers than available seat belts. Buckling one seat belt around two people or not properly wearing the shoulder restraint across the should is dangerous and can result in death. It is also against the law.

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 negligent act of another. We aggressively go against insurance companies in an effort to obtain the maximum compensation for our clients for the injuries the incurred.
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Washington state has one of the highest seat belt compliance rates in the nation. Already, 97.6% of Washington motorists and their passengers are using seat belts. Seat belts go a long way in preventing serious injury and death in a motor vehicle accident.

Most new cars sold in the U.S. are equipped with enhanced seat belt reminders and these reminders have gone a long way in changing behaviors. Seat belt reminders in the form of chimes or bells are hard to ignore. In 2012, 91% of vehicle sold were equipped with driver reminder systems and 77% had front seat passenger reminder systems
In Europe, seat belt reminders are even more persistent and last longer than in the U.S. Some vehicles also provide visual clues in the form of flashing lights as well as persistent chimes that consistently go off the first three minutes of any car trip. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering adopting European-like rules for seat belt reminders to increase seat belt use here in the U.S.

What about rear seat reminders?

Every year approximately 1,000 children ages 12 and younger are killed in motor vehicle accidents and more than 100,000 are injured. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of 3 and 14. By using appropriately fitted child safety seats, booster seats and utilizing seat belts, the risk of injury or death in an auto accident is greatly decreased.

Currently, only about 3% of new cars sold in the U.S. are equipped with rear seat belt reminders. When polled, 75% of drivers said they would be in favor of rules requiring the seat belt reminders in the rear seat as well.

In a survey of drivers who drive children young children — between eight and fifteen years of age — 82% said they would like their vehicle to be equipped with a rear seat belt reminder. Sometimes children don’t buckle up or they unfasten their buckle and a warning system would alert parents so they can enforce buckling up.
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I often travel Interstate 90 between Seattle and Ellensburg to visit my son at college. The other night, a highway patrol stopped me and told me that my headlamp had burned out. He cautioned me to be careful and get the headlamp replaced as soon as possible because he is frequently called to auto accident scenes involving deer and elk on I-90 between Seattle and Ellensburg.

During the winter months, deer are a common hazard on highways. Accidents involving deer are three and a half times more likely in November compared with August according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Deer and elk on the highway resulting in vehicle accidents pose a risk to motorists and motorcyclists. In Washington state, deer seasons are (Nov. 1-25), wintering (Dec. 16 – Mar. 1), fawning (May 25 – Jun. 10), fall migration (Oct 10 – 30), and spring migration (Apr. 15 – May 24). According the Washington State Patrol, there are more than 110 wildlife/vehicle collisions every year resulting in an average of 1190 injuries to humans and two deaths.

In Western Washington, deer and elk/vehicle collisions are more likely to occur on the west side of the Cascades. On Interstate 90, they are more likely to occur near North Bend. Other problems areas are Whidbey Island along State Route 20 and State Route 525.

For your safety, make sure your headlamps are in working order and drive cautiously, especially at dusk and dawn.
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You know that little chime that dings until you put your seat belt on? Studies show that seat belt reminder systems such has that ding increase a driver’s seat belt usage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would like to increase the seat belt reminders to increase seat belt usage in rear seats as well, where children are most likely to be sitting.

seattle car accident attorneyA new law, MAP-21 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21-st Century,” authorizes the NHTSA to initiate rules within the next two years which would require auto manufacturers to install seat belt reminders in the rear seats as well.

Seat belt usage does save lives. A 2010 study found that driver death rates were 6% lower in vehicles with enhanced seat belt reminders. Another study found that seat belt reminder systems that had chimes for 90 seconds were more effective than ones with shorter chime duration.

In Washington state, we have the highest seat belt usage in the nation at 97.5% compliance. Perhaps with rear seat belt reminders and longer buzzers and chimes we will get to 100% compliance and save lives and serious injuries in car accidents.

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 automobile accidents and the family of those who have been killed.
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seattle car accident lawyerWashington state has the distinction of having the highest seatbelt use rate in the nation according to a new federal study. 97.5% of Washingtonians use seatbelts which reduce the risk of being killed in a car accident by about 70%.

Nationwide, the use of seatbelt is 84% according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration..

The Washington State Patrol along with other law enforcement agencies have instituted a very successful “Click It or Ticket” campaign which raises awareness of the importance of seatbelts in saving lives as well as providing seatbelt enforcement. This is but one of the Zero Target plan strategies to reduce fatal traffic accidents and serious injuries.

As an injury law firm, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of buckling up. Far too often we see the deadly results of serious car accidents where the passengers would most likely have survived if they had only been wearing a seat belt. We love headlines like this one:

WSP credits seat belts for woman and children surviving rollover car accident unscathed

But not ones that read like this:

I-90 rollover car accident kills toddler, injures 6 mo. old baby and 7 others

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 died.
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Four 2013 model year small cars, the Acura ILX, Ford Escape, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ were just awarded the “Top Safety Pick” award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To receive the award, the vehicle must receive a good performance in the following categories:

  • Moderate overlap frontal test — this test measures how occupants of a motor vehicle fare in a front-end car accident when the force of impact is not head-on and the front crumple zone is impacted. Approximately 50% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents die in frontal crashes. This test insures that occupant compartments are strong and protect passengers along with seat belts and airbags.
  • Side crash test — this test measures how passengers fare in side impact crashes. Approximately 25% of those killed in car accidents die in side impact or t-bone auto accidents.
  • Roof strength test — this test measures how a vehicle would far in a rollover car accident. More than 10,000 people die every year in rollover accidents. Roof strength tests how much the roof is crushed when a metal plate is pushed against one side of the roof. The auto industry has added Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to vehicles which can prevent a rollover accident in the first place.
  • Rear Test — this test measures the head restraint system and how it protects motorists in rear-end car accidents. Head restraint systems are important because they can prevent a whiplash injury in a rear-end car accident.

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A recent report in The Olympian told about a motorcyclist who was injured when he struck a deer on State Route 506 near Toledo. The report said that John Strom, 39, suffered abrasions and an injured left shoulder after he was thrown from his motorcycle after hitting the deer.

Fall is deer migration season and motorcyclist are especially vulnerable in deer collisions. Strom was lucky; in 85% of the cases of motorcycle v. deer collisions, the motorcyclist is killed.

Collisions between motor vehicles and deer are highest between October and December. As days grow shorter and people are driving in dark early morning and evening hours, the incidence of deer collisions increases.

Tips for Avoiding Collisions with Wildlife

Motorists often panic when they see a deer in their roadway and attempt and sometimes veer into another lane into oncoming traffic or off the roadway.

Here are some tips to avoid or minimize collisions with wildlife.

motorcycle accident lawyer

  • Drivers should be especially vigilant when driving between sunset and midnight and the early morning hours.
  • Pay attention to “Deer Crossing” and “Wildlife” signs.
  • Use your high beams, if possible, during night time driving. Avoid “over driving” your headlights.
  • If you see a deer, slow down and use your horn.
  • If a deer is in your path, brake but stay in your lane.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • If you hit a deer, stay away from it. A wounded deer may injury you.
  • After a collision with a deer, turn on your flashing lights and dial 9-1-1.

(Adapted from The Insurance Information Institute — Avoiding Deer/Car Collisions).

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.

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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Now that school is back in session it is important that parents and teachers teach children school bus safety to prevent accidents when getting on and off of the school bus.

Children need to be taught that school busses have blind spots in a ten foot radius all around the bus and while they can see the bus, the bus drive may not be able to see them. It is important that children be safe when getting on and off the school bus because this is the time when they are at risk of being run over.

seattle bus accident attorney

  • Arrive to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Wait for the bus on the same side of the street as the school bus door.
  • Stand six feet, or three giant steps, back from the curb.
  • Use handrails when entering and exiting the bus.
  • Make sure that the student has no drawstrings or loose straps on jackets or backpacks that could get caught on the bus.
  • Upon getting off of the bus, the student should take five giant steps away from the bus.
  • If the child has to cross the street in front of the school bus, they should walk at least five feet in front of the bus and make eye contact with the bus driver.
  • If the child drops something while getting off of the bus, they should not stoop to pick it up.

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A family of four narrowly missed serious injury or death when a brick-sized chunk of concrete went through the windshield of the family’s Volvo as they were driving in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday night.

Henry Jessop, who was riding in the front passenger seat, suffered laceration injuries to his jaw and mouth along with bruising when the chunk came through the windshield.

Luckily, Jessop’s wife, who was driving, and his children in the back seat were not injured.

Besides the injuries to Jessop, the family is understandably traumatized by this close brush with death.

Jessop hopes that his accident will bring awareness to the necessity for the government to keep the roads maintained.

Duty of government to maintain roads

The county, city or the state, depending on jurisdiction, has a statutory duty to keep the roadway in proper repair. We all depend on the state and local governments to keep our highways and streets safe for travel. Unfortunately, defective roads can cause serious car, motorcycle, bicycle or truck accidents making it necessary to file Washington defective roadway claims.

In this case, the accident was caused by a chunk of concrete that had come loose from some where in the roadway or on an overpass. Other defects that can contribute to car, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle accidents include:
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that the months of May, June, July and August are the times when teenage drivers are at most risk of dying in a car accident. Sadly, the car accident data reveals that teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19 are nearly twice as likely to be in a fatal motor vehicle accident in the summer months compared with the other months of the year. And, for every mile driven, a teenager is three times likely to be involved in a fatal crash than all other driver.

We saw these teen safety tips on Market Watch provided by Auto Trader.com which we thought were worth restating here.

Summer Driving Safety Tips

  • Choose the right car — Make sure your teen is driving a car rated for safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a Top Safety Picks web-site which can help you determine which vehicles fare the best in safety test.
  • Enforce safety belt rules — Let your teen know that if you catch them driving without a safety belt, they lose their driving privileges. Seat belts save lives and a person who uses one cuts their risk of dying in a car accident by half. According to the NHTSA, 68% of teenage drivers killed in nighttime driving accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
  • Properly maintain your vehicle — Car maintenance is important especially making sure tires have enough tread and are properly inflated as well as monitoring brake and steering fluids.
  • Enforce graduated driver license rules — Washington state has a graduated driver’s license which prohibits a teenage driver with a newly minted driver’s license to drive with a passenger who is not a family member for the first six months. In addition, teenagers are prohibited from driving late at night. Discuss these rules with your teenage driver.
  • Distracted driving — Discuss the dangers of distracted driving with your teen.
  • Cruise Control — Counsel your teen driver to limit the use of cruise control to long trips and to avoid the usage at night so that the driver stays alert.

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 died.

Call us Toll Free at 1-800-244-9087 or use our online Contact Form.
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