Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

bicycle%20wheel.jpgThe Seattle Depart of Transportation (SDOT) survey revealed that in 2013 that more than 150,000 Seattleites ride bicycles. Seattle has been working to increase the number of people riding bicycles but safety is the number one deterrent to people not riding a bicycle more.

Bicyclists and pedestrians are at a high risk for accidents in busy cities like Seattle. Unfortunately, yesterday there was a collision between a bicyclist and an automobile. Detective Jeff Kappel of the Seattle Police Depart writes that the SPD investigating a crash between a car and a bicyclist that took place yesterday afternoon around 4:30pm. The unidentified male bicyclist in his 40’s was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The bicycle accident occurred at 15th Avenue West and West Ruffner Street when the bicyclist and a Honda Accord collided.

Today we were saddened to read about a horrible wrong-way car accident which killed a 6-year-old boy and injured his mother and 10-year old brother on Interstate 5 near Vancouver, Washington this morning near exit 11.

Gage W. Musgrave, 84, the wrong-way driver was taken to Peace Health hospital for undisclosed injuries.

Musgrave mistakenly entered the highway either from a rest stop or off-ramp and Washington State Troopers believe that he only drove for several minutes on the highway before the car accident occurred.

Head-On Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009 there were 1,772 people killed in car accidents caused by wrong way drivers — drivers who are driving on the wrong side of the highway or road.

Two vehicles colliding head-on are some of the most devastating types of car accidents, often leaving people seriously injured or, as in this case, killed. A head-on collision must be one of the worst car accidents for first responders to have to deal with. The force of two vehicles travelling in opposite directions and colliding at high speeds can leave both vehicles mangled wrecks. The loss of life is heart breaking.

Most often when we see head-on collisions, alcohol or drugs are involved. In this accident, we do not know if that is the case at this time but the elderly driver at the wheel makes one wonder if the driver was confused, lost his bearings or if medications he might be taken caused him to be impaired.

In some head-on crashes, there can be multiple contributing factors including confusing or missing signage or poorly designed on/off ramps.

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 with their wrongful death lawsuits.

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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pedestrian-xing.jpgPedestrians who are struck by a car or a truck are often traumatized by the experience. Often, pedestrian accident victims sustain serious and life-altering injures and death. Pedestrians can receive disabling injuries even if they are hit by a car traveling at relatively low speeds. The higher rate of speed that the motor vehicle is going, the greater chance of disabling or fatal injuries. The Washington car accident attorneys at The Farber Law Group advise pedestrians and drivers to look out for each other as we approach spring.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provide some statistics related to pedestrian accidents:

  • 4,743 pedestrians were killed in 2012 after they were struck by a motor vehicle.
  • 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012 in auto-pedestrian accidents.
  • A substantial number of pedestrians were struck in non-roadway accidents such as a parking lot or driveway and therefore their injuries or deaths were not counted in official statistics.

Pedestrians age 70 and older are more likely to die after being hit by an automobile
Alcohol a factor in pedestrian accident deaths

Alcohol continues to factor into pedestrian accident deaths. Drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher were involved in 13% of the pedestrian accident deaths in 2012. Pedestrians own alcohol use is a factor in some fatal accidents. In 2012, 36% of the pedestrians older than 16 who were killed had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

Steps to take if you were involved in a Washington car/pedestrian accident

If you have been struck by a car, truck or bus, be sure to call 911 so you can be assessed by a certified emergency medical technician at the accident scene. Sometimes, people who are struck are in shock and adrenaline can make it difficult to assess their own medical condition. If you are able to, please note the road conditions and get the names/addresses of any witnesses as well as the pertinent information of the driver who hit you.

The Farber Law Group recommends that you seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney so he/she can obtain copies of the police and EMT report and gather evidence and contact witnesses before information is lost.
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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.
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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

washington_school_bus.jpgTwo people in a Chevrolet Tahoe have been injured after their SUV struck a Lake Stevens school bus this morning.

The bus accident occurred around 7am this morning when the Tahoe crossed into the oncoming lanes at South Lake Stevens Road and South Davies Road. Police cite excessive speed as a factor in the accident.

The driver of the SUV and passenger were taken to Providence Regional Medical Center in Seattle for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

Fortunately no one on the bus was injured in the accident.

School Bus Accidents

School buses take millions of children to and fro school and are one of the safest ways for children to travel.

During the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010, there were 1,236 fatal school transportation-related accidents which accounted to 0.34% of the total of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2010 there were 129 people killed in school transportation related accidents and of those, only 12% were occupants of the school vehicle including six drivers and 10 passengers. When you realize that there are approximately 10 billion student trips every year, they are very safe vehicles. Another way of looking at school accident data is that there are 0.2 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in school buses compared with 1.5 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles for cars.

School buses have many safety upgrades including warning light, tall seats, thick padding and strong internal structures. School bus drivers are held to a high standard as to training and physical well-being.

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 including school bus accidents, metro bus accidents and airport shuttle bus accidents. For more information, see King County Transit Bus Accidents for information on legal assistance for people seriously injured in metro bus accidents.

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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king county car accident lawyerI was in Los Angeles last week when I read a horrific news story in the Los Angeles Times about a wrong way drunk driver who collided head-on with another vehicle resulting in the death of six people. The driver of the red Camaro was speeding at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour when the accident occurred.

At first glance, I assumed that the wrong way driver was a young man because the car involved was a red “muscle car” and that the driver was speeding. I was wrong. The driver was 21-year-old Olivia Carolee Culbreath. All evidence points to the fact that Culbreath was driving under the influence at the time of the car accident. This was not her first driving under the influence arrest, she was convicted of drunk driving when she was 17 years old. Now she faces a lengthy jail term.

Prior to the horrific crash, at least 17 people had called 911 to alert authorities. Unfortunately, it appears that nothing could have been done to stop her that night. She killed a family of four and her own two passengers, one of which was her sister.

This accident points out the chilling fact that since the 1980s, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are female. Women are more likely to be using another substance and have mental disorders than males arrested for DUI.

In the greater Seattle area, we have had a few incidents of female wrong way female drunk drivers. In one, incident, a 60-year-old woman drove more than 17 miles on Interstate 5 in the wrong direction. In January of this year, a woman was arrested in downtown Seattle after driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 in the early morning hours. In September of 2013, Kelly Ann Hudson was convicted of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault for killing an 81-year-old Kirkland woman and critically injuring one other person. Hudson was drunk and under the influence of prescription drugs when her car crossed the centerline and struck a small car head-on.

Women and Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is the number one reason women come into contact with the criminal justice system. Nationally, arrests for drunk driving is on the rise in the female population and has risen from the single digit numbers in the 80’s to almost 30% in 2007. In 2008, the Federal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) revealed that 1,837 people were killed in car accidents involving females driving under the influence.

A North Carolina study showed that between 1976-1985, alcohol-related crashes rose in the female population compared with a 27% decline among males in the same age group.

The following are some characteristics of female drunk drivers:

  • A New Mexico study found that 85% of females convicted of DUI had a alcohol problem.
  • Female DUI offenders are often diagnosed with a problem with opiates or other medications.
  • The average age of a female on their first DUI is 31. However, there seems to be a trend in which young women are being involved in risky driving behaviors.
  • Female DUI drivers are more likely to be single or divorced.
  • A 2000 New Mexico study revealed that females convicted of DUI have a lower recidivism rate than males but a more recent study in Maryland found no lower recidivism rate.

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winter driving tips - seattle car accident lawyerThousands of motorists were stranded in their cars and trucks overnight in parts of Georgia when a snowstorm and icy road conditions resulted in motor vehicle accidents causing gridlock. Motorists, including school children on school buses, were stuck sleeping in their cars, trucks and buses overnight, many without food.

Washington state saw snowfall over night and our mountain passes including Blewett, Stevens and Snoqualmie can be hazardous when there is snow, slush and ice on the roadway. Our mountain passes can be closed during winter by the Washington State Department of Transportation for snow removal, during periods of low visibility, for motor vehicle accidents and for avalanche control.

Tips for Preparing to Drive Washington’s Passes

The plight of motorists in the south is headline news and so we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind drivers to prepare for travelling our mountain passes during winter storms.

  1. Check the WSDOT website before embarking on your trip to check on road conditions. If the roadways are bad, try to postpone your trip. The website provides you webcams and an interactive map is continually being updated with road conditions.
  2. Make sure your fuel tank is full prior to driving. If you have to wait out a storm, fuel can be used to heat your car.
  3. Bring chains even if they are not required. Sometimes more snow can fall than predicted. Without chains, you may not be able to continue over tehe pass.
  4. Pack blankets or sleeping bags in your vehicle before you leave in case you have to wait aside the road during periods of road closure. Also, pack your warm coats, gloves and hats.
  5. Bring a cell phone and make sure it is fully charged.
  6. Make sure you have some road flares in case you stop to help another motorists or in case you are involved in an accident.
  7. Pack food or snacks such as nuts and crackers. Also, pack water and place the water in a place where it will not freeze.
  8. If you are travelling with small children, pack extra diapers.

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 negligent drivers.

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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autolights.jpgThe Washington State Patrol arrested a woman for investigation of driving under the influence after she drove the wrong way on Interstate 5 early this morning.

The WSP says that the woman entered I-5 in downtown Seattle around 4am this morning and drove and south on the northbound lanes.

Washington state troopers stopped the woman after she attempted to exit the highway near Southcenter.

Wrong-way drivers are a problem on our highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that 3% of all car accidents and 5% of all traffic fatalities are as a result of wrong way drivers.

The major cause of wrong-way driving is intoxicated driving. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs , they can be confused, especially at night time.

Wrong-way driving can often result in a head-on collision, the most dangerous kind of accident which can result in catastrophic injuries or death.
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Mother’s Against Drunk Driving has issued their 2014 Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving — Report to the Nation and it has upgraded Washington State from 3-Stars to 4-Stars — on a 5 Star rating system — since 2012 because of the State’s continued efforts to curb drunk driving.

MADD’s campaign to reduce drunk driving focuses on enforcement of existing drunk driving laws, enhancing current laws and utilizing technology such as ignition interlock devices.

Ignition Interlock

Since 2006, 19 states have strengthened their drunk driving legislation, requiring all drivers convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlock devices prohibit drunk drivers from getting on the road in the first place and reduces repeat DUI offenders.Washington passed the ignition interlock law, RCW 46.20.385 in 2009.

Ignition interlock devices are essentially breathalyzers which are connected to a motor vehicle’s ignition system and prohibit a driver from starting their automobile if their blood alcohol content is at prescribed percentage. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people arrested for the first time for driving while under the influence have, on average, driven drunk at least on 80 other occasions.

The ignition interlock system has been so successful nation-wide that, in July 2013, there were more than 305,000 ignition interlock devices installed nationwide.

Sobriety Checkpoints

drive_sober.jpgThe one area where MADD would like to see Washington State improve their enforcement of drunk driving laws is introduce sobriety check points. MADD claims that sobriety checkpoints could decrease drunk driving accident deaths by 20% by deterring drunk drivers.

In Washington, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission along with local law enforcement run emphasis programs with names such as “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” or “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in which law enforcement runs emphasis patrols to target drunk drivers.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in auto accidents caused by drunken drivers and the family of those who have been killed. With our help, you may recover 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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