Distracted driving auto accidents in Seattle cost lives. In fact, in 2019 over 3,100 people died nationwide due to distracted driving accidents. Because of this, our state laws require people to be hands free while driving. Especially when it comes to cell phone use. There is only so much that the law can do however, and people make mistakes every day that cause distracted driving auto accidents.
Types Of Distracted Driving Accidents
Did you know that about 25% of all auto accidents are caused by distracted driving? According to the Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities are down from previous years. That’s great news to hear, however the threat of distracted driving has never been more real. Especially among our younger drivers. An average of 4,000 auto accidents were caused by someone not paying attention to the roadways while driving in the Seattle, Renton, Bellevue, and Federal Way areas alone. Here are a few causes of these accidents:
- General types of distractions. Primarily caused when the driver’s attention is not on the road.
- Using a cell phone. Whether it’s talking or texting, this is the largest cause of distracted driving accidents.
- Other people inside the vehicle. Passengers inside a car draw your attention from the road and can cause a car crash.
- People, places, or events outside the vehicle. It’s not uncommon to see people looking at other drivers or something on the side of the road, taking their focus off what is in front of them.
- Eating and drinking. Though not illegal, it’s not smart to eat or drink food while driving.
- Smoking. Did you know that about 1% of all auto accidents are related to someone lighting or smoking a cigarette?
- Reaching for a device or object. Taking your eyes and focus off the road, for even a second, can cause an accident.
- Having pets on your lap or in the passenger seat. This is dangerous, because you cannot control a live animal. This can easily cause you to lose focus on the road.
- Adjusting your controls. Whether it’s the radio, seat, or temperature controls, taking your eyes off the road is dangerous.
Distracted Driving Laws In Washington State
Despite the many dangers and the strict enforcement of the law, many people still choose to use their cell phone while driving. According to RCW 46.61.672, anyone using a personal electronic device while driving is subject to these regulations:
- They are guilty of a traffic infraction, and must pay a fine of $235, as provided in RCW 46.63.110
- A second or subsequent offense will be subject to paying twice the penalty amount according to RCW 46.63.110
- To quote RCW 46.61.672, “using” a personal electronic device includes all of the following actions:
- “Holding a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands.”
- “Using your hand or finger to compose, send, read, view, access, browse, transmit, save, or retrieve email, text messages, instant messages, photographs, or other electronic data; however, this does not preclude the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device.”
- “Watching video on a personal electronic device.”
While it may not always be convenient, it is important to remember that you should pull over if you need to make a call or message someone. If not to avoid the $235 fine, do it to protect the safety of the drivers around you or the passengers in your vehicle.
Statistics In Washington State
According to the Traffic Safety Commission:
- Washington state is ranked #4 in the nation for the most distracted driving accidents.
- 30% of auto accident fatalities involve distracted driving.
- 23% of all serious auto accidents involve a distracted driver.
- Drivers are 300% more likely to be in an auto accident when they’re on the phone while driving.
- 70% of observed distracted drivers were using their cell phones.
- A distracted driver is involved in an auto accident every 12 minutes
- Approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured each day in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- Drivers who text and drive are 600% more likely to be in an auto accident than drivers who don’t.
Have You Been The Victim Of A Distracted Driving Accident?
If you were the victim of a distracted driving auto accident, you deserve fair compensation and justice. Don’t deal with the head ache and hassle the insurance company will put you through! Premier Law Group’s experienced auto accident lawyers have helped hundreds of people like you that were wrongfully injured in a car crash. We take care of the paperwork, the negotiations, the minutia that you don’t want to do. Give us a call! Our team will be more than happy to help you in any way we can! Call us at 206-285-1743 for a FREE consultation.