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Kennewick Personal Injury Blog

Why is speeding so dangerous?

You have likely been driving and went over the speed limit in Washington at one point or another. For some, it is a rare accidental occurrence, but others speed intentionally and do it all the time. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a dangerous activity that led to the deaths of over 9,000 people in 2014.

While the consequences of speeding are obviously serious, drivers still do it every day without thinking twice about it. Many people speed to keep up with the flow of traffic. If everyone else is speeding and you are going the speed limit, you may end up in a dangerous situation and feel following their lead is safer. Some people do it because they feel it is not a big deal and they will not likely get in trouble for doing it. Others may do it because they need to get where they are going quickly because they are running late.

What could happen in an accident with an uninsured driver?

Getting into an accident on a Washington roadway is never a pleasant experience, but it becomes even more dreadful when you learn the other driver is uninsured. Generally, when you are involved in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you can collect damages to cover medical expenses, repair bills and other associated costs. However, if the other driver is not insured, it can become difficult to collect the money rightfully owed to you.

Credit.com reports that you should gather as much information as quickly as you can after an accident. This will help if the other person takes off before authorities get there. Try to write down or take a picture of the license plate and details about the vehicle. Also try to get the person’s name and contact information, along with gathering details about him or her.

Why does it take so long to clean up after a truck accident?

When a large truck is in an accident in Washington, it can shut a roadway down, sometimes for hours. Motorists trying to get around the accident can get upset or annoyed that things are taking so long. They simply want to get to where they are going and cannot understand why cleanup is taking so long. If this sounds like you in this type of situation, then it could help to learn a bit more about why truck accident cleanups can take a long time.

According to Komo News, law enforcement has to first ensure that all the people involved in the crash are taken care of. This means shutting down roads and trying to allow emergency crews to get to the accident site. This can be slowed down if traffic is in the way and not accommodating.

AAA’s 100 ‘deadliest days of summer’ start after Memorial Day

It is almost summer in Washington, which means you will soon share the road with many more inexperienced drivers than you typically come across during the school year. When driver inexperience mixes with distracted driving behaviors, the roads become increasingly deadly, and this is especially problematic in the 100 days immediately following Memorial Day. At Harkins & Swinburnson PLLC, we understand the types of injuries and fatalities that result when inexperienced and distracted drivers take to the roadway, and we have considerable experience assisting clients who suffer injury because of these drivers.

Just why are the 100 days immediately following Memorial Day so dangerous? According to USA Today, the lack of experience many teenage drivers share tends to compound with increasingly dangerous driving behaviors, and with deadly results. Over the last five years, more than 1,000 American motorists and passengers lost their lives every year during this 100-day period. Driver distractions that place you at considerable risk, such as texting behind the wheel, were a factor in nearly 60 percent of crashes.

Can law enforcement tell if you are uninsured?

If you are weighing your options and considering whether or not car insurance is a necessity, you are certainly not alone. However, driving uninsured in Washington is risky and can result in consequences that can be far more expensive than maintaining an adequate policy.

The Huffington Post recently reported that car insurance is a legal requirement in 49 of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia. Out of those, 33 states use a sophisticated database to document and track uninsured drivers. Even though a majority of states still require law enforcement to contact your insurance number to authenticate your coverage, technological developments are getting closer to allowing faster access to such information.

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.