Distracted Driving Accident
Under current Washington State law, you cannot text or hold your phone up to your ear to make a call while driving. However, you can talk while holding your phone away from ear. There are several gray areas regarding using your phone for reasons other than sending a text or making a call. A new bill recently introduced in the state Senate, however, aims to clear up the gray areas and close the loopholes.
According to a recent news report in the Seattle Press Intelligencer, if the new bill passes, it would eliminate all handling of cell phones while behind the wheel. In fact, drivers in Washington will not even be allowed to touch their phone at a stop sign or red light. The goal of the law is to deter all forms of phone related distracted driving. It will outlaw typing and reading emails, sending instant messages, pulling up websites, and entering phone numbers. The new potential law will, however, allow drivers to call 911 to report criminal activity. Drivers will also be able to use GPS devices as long as they are secured in a hands-free way. Read the rest »
Washington State officials were among the first in the country to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and to act upon it. Washington State passed a ban on distracted driving back in 2008. Then in 2010, distracted driving became a primary offense, which means that officers can pull you over just for driving while distracted. Now, officers are calling upon state officials to once again strengthen distracted driver laws statewide.
According to a King 5 news report, the Washington State Patrol wants the distracted driving law enhanced. Under current law, drivers who are using their phone to check stocks or read Facebook do not receive citations. Under the law, only drivers who text while driving are considered distracted. The officers believe that looking at your phone is a dangerous form of distraction no matter how you are using your phone. Read the rest »
Across the county, law enforcement officers are on the lookout for distracted drivers as part of the month-long “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign. According to a King 5 news report, Washington State has joined the crackdown with high visibility enforcement. They are specifically looking for drivers who are not paying attention to the road while using their cell phones. This includes drivers who are staring at their screen, who are holding their phone in front of their wheel, and those whose faces are lit by their phones while driving.
It is important to deter this type of behavior because distracted driving is a serious problem that results in a number of fatal crashes each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 3,328 people killed in distraction-related crashes in 2012. Furthermore, about 421,000 people were injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers during that same year. Read the rest »
A driver, who officials say was texting, struck a car that forced a Seattle detective’s unmarked car into a ditch. According to a KIRO TV news report, the distracted driving accident occurred on Interstate 5 near the 200th Street exit in SeaTac. Officials say the driver was texting and let the vehicle drift into another lane where it struck a vehicle. That car then hit the police vehicle carrying a detective and a Seattle Police Department employee. The passenger in the detective’s car was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Distracted driving is a serious problem all across the nation. When you are making a call or sending a text, you are not focused on the roadway or on the act of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers injured 421,000 people in 2012. Sending or receiving a text can take your eyes from the roadway for about 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of the length of a football field if you are driving 55 mph. Motorists who are looking at their cell phones are often unable to react to changing roadway conditions or even notice that they are in danger until it is too late. Read the rest »
The study was conducted by the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Researchers say texting is the worst form of distraction for drivers because it takes the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and attention away from the act of driving. Read the rest »