Articles Posted in Auto Safety

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is celebrating 1,010 lives saved due to the “Click it or Ticket” law passed in June 2002.

bellevue car accident lawyerSince the seat belt law went into effect, seat belt usage has increased from 82% to 97.5%, making Washington state one of the state’s with the highest seat belt usage rates in the United States.

Last year, there were 455 deaths attributed to car crashes, compared with 658 deaths in 2002. Seat belt usage along with safety improvements in cars including high-tech air bagsand DUI enforcement is credited with this number going death.

Not only does seat belt use increase a person’s chances of surviving a car accident but it reduces the risk of a head or brain injury by 80%.

The Washington State Patrol is not content with 97.5% seat belt compliance and that is why they periodically conduct emphasis patrol in search of drivers and passengers who are not buckled. The WSP uses the emphasis patrol to remind drivers to buckle up.
Continue reading

The Washington State Patrol is seeking the driver of an RV whose awning came loose and went thru the back window of a Chervolet Suburban that was parked alongside Interstate 90. The force of the metal bar and awning coming through the Suburban’s window seriously injured two occupants of the vehicle, one seriously. The most seriously injured party was airlifted to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.

The State Patrol said the RV’s driver may be unaware of what transpired.

Witnesses to the incident are asked to contact Sergeant Elizabeth Bigger at 509-750-4560.

Unsecured Loads A Serious Hazard on the Roadway

Accidents like this one are a serious reminder to motorists to secure cargo on their vehicle. Accidents caused by lost or unsecured loads are responsible for up to 360 deaths every year and approximately twenty-five thousand accidents. Failing to secure a load can result in a driver being charged with a gross misdemeanor and result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine according to Washington’s unsecured load law, RCW 46.61.655.

Loss loads and debris on the road endangers motorists because the debris can strike a vehicle or may cause an accident when a driver does a maneuver to avoid an object in the roadway.

According to the Department of Ecology, all sorts of items are known to come off a vehicle. Their web-site provides some examples of some lost loads incidents in one calendar year in Washington state that caused either injury or property damage:
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

The Washington state legislature passed HB 2216 which increases the penalties for people convicted of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in Washington state when the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol.

bellevue car accident attorneyA person can be convicted of vehicular homicide if a person dies within three years of a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving recklessly, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving with out regard to the safety of others. A person can be convicted of vehicular assault if a person is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol driving recklessly or driving with reckless disregard to the safety of others.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Hurst, Pearson, Van De Wege, Dahlquist, Tharinger, Goodman, Johnson, Dammeier, Sells Kelley, McCune and Kristiansen, was passed unanimously by the Senate on Thursday
The legislature, with this bill, is sending a message to drivers: “If you drink and drive and injure or kill someone in a motor vehicle accident, then you are going to spend more time in jail.”

The sentencing ranges have been increased:

  • Drivers convicted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – sentencing range increased from 31-41 months to 78-102 months.
  • Drivers convicted of vehicular homicide while driving in a reckless manner – sentencing range increased from 21-27 months to 51-68 months.
  • Drivers who are convicted of vehicular homicide for driving with reckless disregard for the safety – sentencing range increased from 15-20 months to 21-27 months.
  • Drivers who are convicted of vehicular assault after a car accident in which a person was seriously injured and the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol will now have a sentencing range of 6-12 months.

Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Every week in Florida, an average of 9 pedestrians are killed and 21 are injured in pedestrian accidents. As part of the “See the Blind Spots” campaign, they made a controversial call and placed a graphic video of a pedestrian accident on their web-site. Now, a Florida state senator is calling for them to take the video down.

bellevue pedestrian accident attorneyFlorida Senator Mike Fasano says the videos are too “horrific” to be shown.

The web-site does warn ” The following video contains graphic footage and may be unsuitable for small children. Viewer discretion advised.”

One video clip shows a car slamming into a pedestrian and the pedestrian being thrown up onto the vehicle’s hood and then crashing to the pavement. Other videos show body bags.

The web-site educates both pedestrians and drivers and because in nearly 50% of all pedestrian-car collisions the pedestrian disobey traffic laws and made judgment lapses when trying to cross a street. The following safety tips for pedestrians because drivers aren’t always looking out for pedestrians:

  1. Be alert and attentive and don’t cross until its safe.
  2. Obey the Walk and Don’t Walk signals.
  3. Look left-right-left before crossing.
  4. When crossing a street, continually check for traffic, especially for cars and trucks turning right on red.
  5. Don’t assume drivers see you. Make sure you make eye contact.
  6. Use sidewalks when available. When they aren’t available, walk facing traffic.
  7. Don’t walk along or across highways and freeways.
  8. At dusk or at night time, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
  9. Be care about your alcohol consumption as 35% of those pedestrians killed are under the influence.
  10. Supervise children when they are crossing streets as they do not always have the right judgement to assess the situation.

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 pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Related Posts:

Too many fatal bicycle accidents in greater Seattle

Family settles wrongful death lawsuit with Metro after pedestrian killed in bus accident

How To Get the Most From Your Accident Settlement
Continue reading

We recently changed the clocks to coincide with daylight savings. Turning the clocks increased the risks of car accidents in Seattle and Western Washington because more drivers are having to commute during dark evening hours .

Some drivers have impaired night and cannot drive as safely or comfortably at night time. Not all drivers are even aware of their problems. We start seeing vision problems in drivers around the age of 50. As we age, our pupils do not dilate as much, our cornea and eye lens is not as clear and age-related eye changes can occur.

Types of Night Vision Problems that Can Affect Driving

  • Blurred vision — Drivers in their 40’s or 50’s can suffer blurred vision in dim light. As a person ages and they become presbyopic they suffer from blurred vision when the light is dim even though they have sharp vision in daylight. Being fitted with the proper “night driving glasses” can remedy this problem.
    bellevue car accident attorney
  • Problems with Glare and/or Halos — Some drivers can see just fine during the daylight hours but at night, they experience glare or halos around lights. This can greatly impair a driver’s vision and has been known to cause fatal car accidents. This problem can be cause by a problem with the cornea, as a side effect of LASIK surgery or can indicate a cataract, a vitamin deficiency, or an eye disease such as retinitis pigmentosa or glaucoma. Drivers with this type of problem should see a qualified eye surgeon, an ophthalmologist. Once the health of the eye is determined, the physician can sometimes recommend a specially tinted eyeglass (not a sunglass) or other treatment such as cataract surgery. In some cases, the driver should limit their night time driving.

If you are a driver and you have vision problems at night time, you should not drive at night unless you have a correction or treatment and have a visual acuity of 20/30 or better, have a visual field of 110 degrees or more and have proper training for night time driving.

A driver who drives with impaired vision is a negligent driver and could be cited in a motor vehicle accident. If you know you have vision problems at night, you should not drive in the same way that an epileptic who has uncontrollable seizures should not drive.

There is no doubt about it, driving is more hazardous after dark. We recommend seeing your eye doctor once a year because the test they give at the department of licensing only tests for visual acuity and can not always detect vision problems that only occur after dark.

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.

Related Posts:

Washington State Patrols warns drivers to not drive drowsy

Oregon truck driver who fell asleep on Interstate 5 faces negligent driving charges

Motorists need to watch out for wildlife in the Fall
Continue reading

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) , in a media release, is warning drivers to watch out for wildlife during the fall. Collisions between motor vehicle and deer is at the highest amount between October and December. The WSP says that when people turn their clocks back and the days are shorter and more people are driving in the dark morning and evening hours, the incidence of collisions increases.

According to the WSP, in Thurston and Pierce Counties, there have already been 128 collisions between motor vehicles and animals.

Collisions with deer and other large animals are costly but they can also be deadly. In approximately 2% of the car v. deer collisions there is a fatality. In motorcycle v. deer collisions, in 85 % of the cases the motorcyclist is killed.

The WSP reminds drivers to be cautions in early morning and evening hours, to pay close attention to animal crossing signs which are usually placed where there have been collisions in the past and do not swerve to avoid an animal.

Insurance Considerations

The Farber Law Group recommends that you have comprehensive coverage on your automobile. Comprehensive coverage will cover your vehicle if you are involved in an accident and will often cover the cost of a rental car and provide “gap” coverage if your car is a total loss which often happens in a deer collision.

This information is provided 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.

Related Posts:
Auto-Deer Collision Risk at Highest October-December

Man dies in accident after deer crashes through windshield

Woman critically injured in motorcycle v. deer accident
Continue reading

Halloween can be dangerous for young pedestrians. According to Safe Kids USA, twice as many young pedestrians are killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween compared to the other days of the year.

To prevent a tragedy, parents should talk with their children about pedestrian safety on Halloween and accompany them while trick or treating. Don’t assume they will remember the spiel you gave them last year.

Here are some child safety tips for the holiday:
seattle pedestrian accident

  • Children under the age of 12 should be acocmpanied by an adult. Children younger than 12 often forget safety rules when they are excited.
  • Walk on sidewalks and paths.
  • Walk facing traffic, if there is no sidewalks.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and cross in crosswalks.
  • Make sure wigs, hats and masks don’t obscure a child’s view.
  • Make sure your child’s costume is not so long as to cause them to trip.

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 pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Related Posts:

Fall walking/jogging safety tips for pedestrians

Safety tips to avoid car-pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian safety in school zones
Continue reading

Contact Information