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Kennewick Personal Injury Blog

Are hands free cellphones safe for motorists?

If are guilty of using a hand-held cellphone while driving in Washington, you are not alone. Although this dangerous practice is illegal in the state of Washington, many people continue to talk, text and perform other functions on their hand-held cellular devices while behind the wheel. Some people, however, have turned to using hands-free devices as a way to continue their cellphone use and stay in compliance with the law. Hands-free cellphones are marketed as a safe alternative to hand-held models, as they do not require drivers to use their hands to operate or take their eyes off the road. Studies show that hands free cellphones may not be safe to use at all.

The study released by AAA had participants perform several distracting tasks while driving a simulator, as well as an actual vehicle equipped with monitoring devices. Drivers were asked to listen to the radio, listen to an audio book, engage in conversation with a passenger, send email messages over a voice-activated system and talk using a hand-held and hands free cellular device. The results showed that operating a hands-free cellphone was only slightly less distracting than using a hand-held cellphone.

Commercial truck clearinghouse may save lives

When people share the road with large tractor trailers, they run the risk of becoming involved in a serious truck accident. While people may assume that the truck driver operating the big rig is licensed, experience and well-qualified, this may not always be the case. There are a number of truck drivers who have previous driving violations, or are otherwise unqualified to drive a at truck. However, they are still out on the roadways. These negligent truckers may cause serious truck accidents, injuries and death to innocent people on the road. This may all change, however, due to a new Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is set to be implemented soon.

This national database, created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, allows trucking companies, medical review officers, third-party administrators and substance abuse professionals to report the results of drug tests, report test refusals, traffic citations and commercial driver’s license information. The database would show whether drivers are enrolled in drug and alcohol programs, as well as the status of their commercial driver’s licenses.   

Aggressive driving: How to spot road rage

There is no question that drivers get frustrated and angry when navigating busy Washington roadways. At some point, you may have gotten angry at another driver while you were rushing to work or to an appointment. Road rage is a common problem throughout the country and is the cause of many motor vehicle accidents, injuries and even fatalities. In fact, AAA reports that road rage is involved in approximately half of all motor vehicle accident deaths. Furthermore, at least half of drivers admit that they have engaged in aggressive driving behaviors. By understanding how to spot the signs of road rage, you may be able to avoid becoming the victim of a devastating car accident.

Some common road rage behaviors that you should be on the lookout for include the following:

  •          Tailgating, or driving too closely behind other vehicles.
  •          Racing or speeding alongside other cars.
  •          Ignoring stop signs and traffic signals.
  •          Excessive lane changing without signaling.
  •          Cutting in front of other drivers and slowing down.
  •          Inappropriate hand signals, gestures and swearing.

What are the common causes of truck accidents?

Large truck accidents injure and kill a significant number of people every year in the United States. In 2015 alone, 4,311 large trucks were involved in deadly accidents, which is an 8 percent increase from 2014. Sadly, many of these accidents are preventable. By understanding what causes truck accidents, you may be able to avoid becoming the victim of a negligent truck driver.

One of the most common causes of large truck accidents is drowsy, drunk and distracted truck drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Truckers who attempt to stay awake behind the wheel in an attempt to earn a larger paycheck or to meet a tight deadline, put other peoples’ lives in danger. Truckers may fall asleep behind the wheel and fail to hear safety devices warning them that they are approaching slowed traffic. Distracted truckers also pose a threat, as they are unable to see what is going on while they are watching their cellphones or engaging in another task.

Police: Impaired, arguing driver caused Columbia crash, injuries

Distracted driving can take many forms. In most cases, it involves a driver more focused on their phone than on the traffic. In other cases, it involves a driver too focused on a passenger to properly pay attention to what is going on around them.

An 18-year-old woman driving a blue car was driving on north 72nd Avenue while in a heated argument with her male passenger. Unfortunately, the argument was more interesting than the stop light. She blew through the red light, slamming her vehicle into a pick-up truck which was sent rolling by the impact, a news report states.