Law Office of David A. Williams
Call Today for a FREE Consultation
Toll Free: 425-274-3224

Washington Personal Injury Law Blog

Drowsy drivers pose a threat on the road

When people in Washington get behind the wheel, they may be afraid of encountering another driver who is drunk or texting while driving. While these behaviors pose significant dangers, they are not the only types of negligent behavior that can lead to serious car accidents. Drowsy driving, or operating a vehicle when too tired to do so safely, poses a serious threat to others on the road. Each year, the National Safety Council implements Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to draw attention to the serious impairments associated with driving while drowsy. In 2020, the week will be November 1-8.

Almost 50% of drivers in the United States admit to sometimes driving while feeling sleepy, especially if they get too little sleep at night but need to commute to school or work in the morning. A full one-fifth of the respondents to one National Sleep Foundation survey said that they had fallen asleep while driving at one point in the past year while 40% said it had happened at least once in their lives. In 2015 alone, at least 5,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving while many thousands more were seriously injured.

Pedestrians face growing danger on the road

Pedestrians in Washington may face growing threats on the road. Across the country, there were approximately 6,590 pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, a significant increase from previous years. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, this marks a 60% increase in pedestrian fatalities in the 10 years since 2009. Pedestrians faced more risks than others; other types of traffic deaths rose only 2% overall in the same time period.

Many people are concerned about risks to pedestrians, especially as many communities encourage walking and biking as green, healthful alternatives to driving everywhere. The increase in pedestrian deaths in 2019 reflected an ongoing trend and a 5% increase from one year earlier in 2018.

Later school start times could reduce teen car crashes

High school students in Washington and across the nation are busier than ever. Each day, they may jam in classes, after-school activities, sports, study sessions and more. Unfortunately, they are often doing this with insufficient sleep, which can cause attention, health and safety problems. To help teens get more rest, some organizations are pushing for schools to implement later start times.

For example, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that teens between the ages of 13 and 18 need up to 10 hours of sleep per night for optimum health. As a result, the organization believes that classes for middle and high school students should begin at 8:30 a.m. or later. The organization says later school start times could help teens to be more alert in classes, decrease absences and tardiness, improve mental health and even reduce car accidents.

Report ranks 10 cities with high car crash numbers

Washington residents may want to know about a report that looked back on car crash numbers in 2019 and determined which cities were "hotspots" for these accidents. A San Francisco-based nonprofit called Go Safe Labs conducted the analysis and came up with a top 10 list of cities with the most accidents as well as a list of the 10 most accident-prone regions.

According to the study, there were 953,630 auto accidents in all in 2019: a 6.8% increase from the previous year. In the list of cities, Houston came first with 22,188 accidents occurring there. Second on the list was Charlotte, North Carolina, with 21,818 followed by Los Angeles with 19,660. Then came two other cities in Texas: Austin with 16,635 accidents and Dallas with 14,685. The remaining cities on the list are Raleigh, Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge, Nashville and Phoenix.

Important information about pedestrian accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents each year. Pedestrians in Washington may also fall victim to injuries caused by poorly maintained roads, sidewalks and parking lots. In some cases, more than one party may be liable for causing harm to a person who was walking or riding a bike. It is also possible for a pedestrian to be fully or partially responsible for his or her own injuries.

In a personal injury case, it must be established that the defendant violated a duty of care toward the injured victim. Drivers could violate their duty of care toward others by driving too fast for the road conditions or ignoring a traffic signal. Drivers may be required to exercise a greater level of caution if there is reason to believe that children may be nearby.

Volvo to manufacture new device to monitor and stop drunk driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 11,000 people in Washington and across the U.S. are killed each year in drunk driving crashes. This is nearly three times the number of people who die in crashes involving phone use behind the wheel. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has been the leading cause of car crash fatalities for over a century in this country.

There is alcohol detection technology available that can prevent drunk drivers from even starting their vehicles. Other in-car technology is designed to monitor drivers for any unsafe behaviors in general and automatically slow the car down when drivers run the risk for a crash. However, Volvo may be the first automaker to create tech that combines these features.

How a vicarious liability claim addresses truck accident damages

A commercial vehicle accident can reshape a victim's life. One of these wrecks can leave an individual with serious physical pain and suffering, oftentimes resulting in permanent disability. It can also have a tremendous emotional impact that permeates a commercial vehicle accident victim's life. Additionally, the financial damages associated with one of these crashes can be completely overwhelming and potentially ruinous.

Fortunately, commercial vehicle accident victims can seek compensation for their losses by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. However, merely pursuing one of these claims against a negligent driver may not be sufficient enough to cover the full extent of a victim's damages. This is simply because many commercial vehicle drivers don't have the financial resources to pay out a large judgment. This is why it is important for commercial vehicle accident victims to consider whether any other parties can be held liable for the wreck in question.

What are some causes of holiday car accidents?

The holiday travel season is upon us, as people throughout Washington prepare to hit the roads to celebrate the season with family and friends. However, holidays are also a prime time for car accidents to occur. There are several reasons why people may be involved in a car accident this holiday season.

First, roads tend to be more congested during the holidays. Simply put, the greater number of cars on the road, the greater a chance for a collision. In addition, drivers may be in a hurry, leading them to drive aggressively or recklessly. This can result in unexpected and unwanted crashes. Distracted driving can also lead to an auto accident.

Representation is available after a pedestrian accident

The winter holidays give many reasons for residents in Washington and other states across the nation to be out and about. Whether they are out shopping for gifts, on their way to holiday festivities or heading to a gathering, it is also a time of year when pedestrian traffic is up. Individuals may be walking from their vehicle to a store or are outdoors looking at lights. And while it is safe to travel by foot in these areas, the unfortunate reality is that motor vehicles are also traveling nearby. If a driver fails to take note of their surroundings or remain attentive, this could result in a pedestrian accident.

While any automobile collision can be serious, a pedestrian collision can cause some of the most severe injuries. This is because a person cannot stand up to the size and weight of a motor vehicle, even when the collision is at a lower speed. A person can easily be thrown, causing injuries to the head, neck and back as well as impact injuries to bones and internal organs.

The dangers for pedestrians in Washington

Pedestrian accidents can cause devastating injuries to victims that can affect them for some time to come physically, cognitively and emotionally. Because of the tremendous effect of pedestrian accident injuries on pedestrian victims, it is important for them to be familiar with the legal protections available to them when harmed in pedestrian accidents.

In Washington State, approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of the population relies on walking as their primary form of transportation and almost all Washingtonians walk on a daily basis. Washingtonians commute to work and get to school by walking.