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Distracted Driving Accident

Hands-Free Texting is Still Unsafe for Seattle Drivers, Study Shows

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on June 18, 2013

Seattle car accident attorneys have been warning Washington motorists about the dangers of distracted driving. In an effort to combat texting while driving, many auto manufacturers are advertising voice commands technology as a safe way to send text messages and emails while driving. A new study by AAA, however, shows that using voice commands to send texts is actually more dangerous and distracting than simply talking on a cell phone.

Many new vehicles are being built with dashboard infotainment systems that have voice command capabilities. Auto manufacturers are even reaching out to younger drivers by creating systems capable of connecting to Facebook. If you have seen the ads, you may be under the impression that these devices are safe because they allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Read the rest »

Driver Causes Fatal Crash in Seattle While Looking at Cell Phone Photos

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 16, 2013

Seattle Distracted Driver AccidentA 20-year-old Federal Way woman was killed and four others were critically injured in a Seattle car accident that may have involved a distracted and impaired motorist. As reported by The Seattle Press Intelligencer, the fatal crash occurred on Interstate 5 in Seattle. Prosecutors say the driver was given a phone displaying a photo of a scantily clad woman shortly before crashing. Officials report that he also displayed signs of intoxication and that he had been drinking vodka earlier in the evening.

Distracted driving, particularly driving while looking at a cell phone, computer, or other electronic device, can be extremely dangerous. These types of devices take the driver’s eyes off the roadway and attention away from the act of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Read the rest »

New Guidelines to Limit Distracted Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 9, 2013

Seattle Distracted Driving CrashThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is attempting to limit the number of in-vehicle distractions. According to The Detroit News, NHTSA released new guidelines on April 30 that discourage auto manufacturers from installing certain in-car Internet browsing devices. The U.S. Transportation Department is advising against installing devices that display web page content and text messages.

Automakers have requested and received a buffer of three years before the voluntary guidelines take effect. NHTSA does not expect existing vehicle models that have these distracting devices to undergo revisions within the next couple of years. However, the agency suggests that it is acceptable to display maps or location information, but photorealistic images, 3D images, web pages, books, periodicals, and texts are too distracting. Read the rest »

How Common is Distracted Driving in U.S. vs. Europe?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on March 29, 2013

Seattle Distracted Driving AccidentsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that distracted driving is more widespread in the United States than in Europe. According to the CDC, nearly 69 percent of U.S. motorists have admitted to talking on a cell phone while driving in the past month. The number of distracted European drivers, however, was as low as 21 percent in the United Kingdom and 59 percent in Portugal. Portugal, with 31 percent, is also the only European country in the study to match the number of U.S. drivers who have read, sent a text, or an email while driving. Spain, in comparison, only had 15 percent of drivers who have texted or emailed in the past 30 days while driving.

The reported 69 percent of U.S. drivers who have recently used a cell phone while operating a vehicle is consistent with previous studies. The AAA Foundation reported that about 69 percent of drivers in the U.S. used a cell phone while driving in the year 2010. Read the rest »

Are Your Teens Texting Behind the Wheel?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on December 6, 2012

Washington Texting Distracted DrivingWhen your teens take the car, are they texting while they drive – even though they know it’s dangerous? One study from the University of Michigan found that many parents don’t know the answer to this question.

As most experienced Washington distracted driving accident attorneys have found, young drivers mimic the driving behaviors of their parents, for better or worse. When parents are distracted drivers, teens will often become distracted drivers as well. Read the rest »

Analyzing Distractions: How Do I Know If I’m Taking a Risk Behind the Wheel?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 27, 2012

Distracted driving has gotten a great deal of media attention in recent years, and much of the coverage has focused on the use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving. However, any kind of distraction behind the wheel can increase your risk for an accident.

To understand how distractions work and when you’re at risk of an accident due to a distraction, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests considering the following factors: Read the rest »

AT&T Documentary Illustrates the Damage of Texting and Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 25, 2012

In 2007, Washington became the first U.S. state to pass a law banning drivers from sending or reading text messages while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, not all U.S. states followed suit. Even in states that ban texting and driving, people are seriously injured or even killed each year when drivers decide a text just can’t wait.

Now, AT&T has released a free documentary that illustrates the personal costs of texting and driving. Titled “The Last Text,” the documentary encourages drivers to pledge never to text while behind the wheel. Read the rest »

Easton, Washington Car Accident Sends Two to Hospital

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on August 13, 2012

Two passengers had to be rushed to a Bellevue hospital for emergency care after a chain-reaction crash on Interstate 90 left them seriously injured, according to a recent article in The Yakima Herald.

The accident occurred about 10 miles west of Easton. It began when a driver from Arizona rear-ended the back of a Ford pickup truck driven by a Stanwood resident. The impact pushed the Ford truck into the back of an SUV, which then hit a second pickup truck, a Chevrolet driven by a resident of Olympia. Read the rest »

Cars That ‘Talk’ To Each Other May Help Prevent Washington Car Accidents

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on June 12, 2012

One of many new technologies aimed at making cars safer is a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system that would allow cars to “talk” to one another while on the road. Information exchanged between vehicles can be communicated to the driver to help him or her avoid an accident, according to developers.

The system connects vehicles using wireless communications networks already in place and wireless devices placed inside each vehicle. Cars within about 1,000 feet of one another trade information about 10 times per second, checking up on one another’s location, direction, and speed. Read the rest »

Hands-Free Gadgets May Still Pose Distracted Driving Risks

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 27, 2012

Cell phone headsets, voice-activated systems, and other hands-free gadgets in vehicles may help keep a driver’s hands on the wheel. However, they can still cause distracted driving accidents or injuries if they distract the driver’s eyes or mind from the task of driving, according to a recent article in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drivers whose brains are distracted with conversation, following directions, or other cognitive activities miss up to 50 percent of the information in their surrounding environments. When driving, this means missing up to half of the vital information needed to avoid a crash, such as things like whether a light is changing from yellow to red, whether and from what direction other cars are approaching, or whether there are children or animals present that might suddenly run into the street. Read the rest »

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