Distracted Driving Accident

Cell Phones Can Cause Fatal Driver Distraction

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 5, 2012

Seattle Distracted DrivingCell phone use in the U.S. has exploded in recent years, according to studies by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and other highway safety groups. In 1995, only 11 percent of the U.S. population, or about 33,000 people, had a cell phone. By 2010, however, that number had grown to 93 percent of the population, or nearly 300 million people.

Today, cell phones are often a person’s only telephone line and a primary means of communicating not just in phone calls, but also in sharing documents, writing e-mails, and sending text messages. As we become more dependent on our cell phones, we are more likely to use them even in situations where their use is dangerous – such as behind the wheel of a car. Read the rest »

How Cell Phone Distraction Leads to Washington Car Accidents

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

Life today can be incredibly fast-paced, with individuals rushing to and from jobs, appointments, meals, and meetings. As such, many choose to use cell phones to talk and text while driving in order to accomplish several tasks at once. In Washington, hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving are illegal. Unfortunately, many still choose to break these laws, often leading to serious and even fatal distracted driving accidents in Washington. In addition, even hands-free cell phone use creates plenty of distractions for drivers today.

There are three main types of distraction that a driver can fall victim to, all of which have their own dangers and can result from use of a cell phone while driving. These types of distractions are: Read the rest »

NTSB Recommends Cell Phone Driving Ban; States May Disagree

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on December 27, 2011

cell phone accidentThe National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recent recommendation to ban all cell phone use while driving is already facing skepticism in many states, according to a recent article in The Washington Post.

One of the states shying away from a complete ban is Missouri, where a 2010 crash caused by a cell-phone-chatting 19-year-old in a pickup truck involved a tractor-trailer and two school buses, and caused multiple deaths and injuries. Since the crash, Missouri has had bills introduced in its state legislature to ban cell phone use behind the wheel. The bills were filibustered. Read the rest »

Five Steps to Fight Distracted Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 10, 2011

Even though the vast majority of U.S. states ban text messaging while driving to address distracted driving risks, an Ad Council study reports a whopping 82 percent of young drivers, between 16 and 24 years old, have engaged in this dangerous activity. And it’s not only the younger demographic who are distracted behind the wheel: approximately 20 percent of all accidents involving injury in 2009 were reportedly caused by distraction. However, like all reckless behavior, distracted driving can be prevented with a combination of awareness and good choices. Below are five tips, picked from recommendations by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

  1. Never use your phone or any other hand held device while driving. Not only is it illegal, but research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows drivers who use hand held devices are four times as likely to get into accidents severe enough to cause injury. The University of Utah also determined that using a cell phone (regardless of whether it’s hands free or not) compromises a driver’s response time to the same extent as being legally drunk with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. So switch off your ringer. Read the rest »

Researchers, Policy Groups Divided on How to Address Distracted Driving Risks

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on October 26, 2011

Distracted Driving AccidentsMany research studies recently have focused on distracted driving and how it contributes to car accident risks. Most studies agree that distracted driving increases the risk of a crash, and that the more distracted a driver is, the more likely he or she is to have an accident. A study completed by researchers at the University of Utah, for instance, found that drivers who text while driving show the same kinds of impairment as drivers with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration – the legal limit for drunk driving.

However, when it comes to deciding what to do to decrease distracted driving, researchers and policymakers are uncertain. This is because there’s very little research on what kinds of policies actually decrease distracted driving risks. At least one study indicates that banning handheld cell phone use actually increases the risk of an accident, as drivers may attempt to conceal their cell phone use while driving, a task that takes additional attention away from the road. Read the rest »

U.S. States Follow Washington in Efforts to Curb Distracted Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 9, 2011

In 2007, Washington became the first state to ban drivers from sending cell phone text messages – or “texting” – while driving a motor vehicle. Since then, over 36 states have passed similar bans in response to an increase in distracted driving accidents, as well as the general growing concern about distracted driving.

In 2010, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) compiled a report on the many different methods states are using to combat distracted driving. Popular methods include
passing laws to ban or limit common distractions like cell phone use and launching education campaigns to warn teens learning to drive and other drivers that distracted driving can have serious, even deadly, consequences. Read the rest »

Washington Cell Phone Driving Laws Seek to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 15, 2011

The majority of states in the U.S. have placed limits on the use of cell phones and other handheld devices by drivers, and Washington is no exception. Cell phone driving laws like Washington’s are designed to cut down on the number of accidents caused by distracted driving by limiting the amount of distraction a cell phone can cause.

According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Washington is one of nine U.S. states that ban all drivers from using a handheld cell phone while driving. Drivers may, however, use a hands-free device to talk on their phones, as long as they are driving with a full-fledged Washington state driver’s license. Washington drivers who are still using a learner’s permit or an intermediate license, however, may not use a cell phone at all while driving. These novice drivers should find a place to park off the road before using a cell phone. Read the rest »

Congress Considers Bill Regulating Cell Phone Use While Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 13, 2011

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representative that would set federal standards for using cell phones while driving and may ban their use altogether in many situations, according to a recent article in The Detroit Free Press.

The bill is called the Safe Drivers Act of 2011. Introduced by U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, it would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create regulations that ban the use of cell phones while driving except in certain emergency and similar situations. The bill does not ban the use of hands-free devices to talk on cell phones while driving, however. If the bill passes, states will have two years to change their laws to meet the DOT standards or will risk losing up to 25 percent of their federal highway funding. Read the rest »

Washington State Patrol Issued 6,850 Tickets During First Year of Cell Phone Ban

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on June 14, 2011

In June 2010, Washington’s legislature made a law that prohibited sending texts or emails on a cell phone while driving into a primary offense, meaning that police could ticket people who violated the law without first having to stop them for another violation, like an illegal lane change or a broken taillight. Since the change a year ago, the Washington State Patrol has issued 6,850 tickets to drivers violating the law, a huge increase from the 1,344 tickets issued before texting became a primary offense.

The law also prohibits holding a cell phone to one’s ear while driving, though drivers can talk on their phones if they use a hands-free device. Drivers who are under age 18 may not use a cell phone in any way while driving, even if it is hands-free. Read the rest »

Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Reinforces the Dangers of Texting While Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 27, 2011

In February of 2010, 19 year old Heather was killed instantly one month after her birthday, as her car left the roadway south of Tumwater, struck a guardrail and tumbled into a ditch. She was texting a friend in the minutes before the crash. Again in February of this year, a two-year old female passenger was injured during a collision in Thurston County when the 29-year old driver left the roadway, drove into the shoulder and struck a parked pick up head on. This driver was also texting.

These unfortunate drivers were not alone, even with the texting and driving laws, thousands of people are injured or killed every year while texting or being otherwise distracted. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves and our teenage drivers that when you’re in the car – keep your hands off the phone. Remember, if you’re driving on the freeway, you can travel more than the length of a football field in the time it takes to simply read a short text message or dial a number. Read the rest »

Our Case Results

Degloving Injury$2,400,000
Degloving Injury
from defective power winch.
Wrongful Death$1,925,000
Wrongful Death
from head-on van accident.
Rollover Accident$1,925,000
Rollover Accident
resulting in wrongful death.
Wrongful Death$1,625,000
Wrongful Death
from highway design defect.
Car Accident$595,000
Car Accident
injuries to 47-year-old woman.
Wrongful Death$460,695
Wrongful Death
oncoming traffic accident.
Rear-End Collision$450,000
Rear-End Collision
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$390,000
Car Accident
resulting in fractured leg.
Car Sideswipe$390,000
Car Sideswipe
resulting in injured back.
Head-On Collision$372,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in fractured pelvis.
Car Accident$360,000
Car Accident
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$275,000
Car Accident
resulting in jaw fracture.
Overturned Truck$230,000
Overturned Truck
resulting in broken ribs.
Head-On Collision$230,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in shoulder injury.
Motorcycle Accident$225,000
Motorcycle Accident
resulting in leg fracture.

Written by Joseph Pendergast, this book is designed to help people who have suffered a personal injury understand their rights and the steps to take to be sure they get the compensation they deserve.

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