Distracted Driving Causes Life-Altering Crashes
Many people get behind the wheel of a car and drive daily without considering that each day 3,287 people die in car accidents across the U.S. Research has determined that 9 of these deaths every day are caused by distracted driving, which could be prevented. Drivers from all age groups are affected by distracted driving. Here are some of the startling facts about distracted driving:
• About 25 percent of all auto accidents are caused by distracted driving.
• Teens are the largest age group that reported distractions while driving.
• Distracted driving is responsible for more than 58 percent of auto crashes involving teen drivers.
• During 2015 alone there were 391,000 people injured in crashes caused by distracted driving.
Since there isn’t a way to test for distracted driving following a crash, the number of crashes, deaths, and injuries caused by individuals driving while distracted are probably much higher than reports indicate. Many experts have referred to distracted driving as an epidemic.
Stricter Laws for Washington State Drivers
Because of the number of distracted driving crashes, many states have made regulations more stringent regarding the penalties for drivers who drive while distracted. Most of these laws involve cell phone use. In Washington state, it is illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.
When it comes to cell phone use while driving, you cannot use a handheld device while the vehicle is in motion, while at a stoplight, or if stopped in traffic. You can use hands-free or Bluetooth devices that require a single touch to start a function. The first ticket will cost a minimum of $136 while a second ticket within the next five years will cost at least $234. The violation gets reported to auto insurance companies.
If you are eating, smoking, reading, applying makeup, brushing your hair, or participating in some other activity that could interfere your ability to operate a vehicle safely, you can receive a $99 ticket. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, about 30 percent of the car crash fatalities and 23 percent of serious crashes in the state are the result of distracted driving.
The After-Effects of Distracted Driving in the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area
If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a distracted driver in the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area, you have rights. You can pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the crash. There are a variety of damages that one might experience in such a collision. Some of the more commonly claimed damages include:
• Medical expenses – past and future
• Lost wages – past and future
• Pain and suffering
• Property damages
• Permanent scarring and disfigurement
• Mental anguish
With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can pursue an accident injury claim for your crash caused by distracted driving in the Portland/Vancouver Metro area. There is a strict statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury claim after an auto accident, so don’t wait until it is too late to recover your damages. Schedule your free case review with the Harlan Law Firm today by calling (360) 735-8200.