Do You Know What Causes Thousands of Washington Freeway Accidents?Most people know that speeding is a surefire way to cause a serious crash on Washington roads. The speed at which you are traveling at the time of a collision will directly affect the severity of the damage to your car and the injuries you suffer. Since you can legally travel at speeds of 60 or even 70 miles per hour on urban and rural interstates, it is not a surprise that so many of the most devastating Washington car crashes occur on our freeways.
But speed is not the only reason behind the thousands of crashes that happen every year in our state. Many devastating freeway crashes involve:
- Alcohol: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 33 percent of all Washington traffic deaths in 2012 involved alcohol. A significant number of those fatal drunk driving accidents occurred on highways and freeways.
- Speed: Under Washington law, speeding refers to instances where a motorist is driving “a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards.”
- Dangerous Lane Changes: Changing lanes without checking can result in devastating freeway crashes.
- Tailgating: It can be difficult to stop or to steer around another vehicle when you are traveling at highway speed. While you only need to stay a couple of car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you on a normal roadway, you should remain between three and six car lengths behind while on the highway.
- Fatigue and Distraction: Driving at high speeds when drowsy or distracted is extremely dangerous. Pull over if you must use your phone or if you are feeling drowsy.
If you are injured in a Washington freeway accident, it is important that you remain at the crash site, notify the authorities, collect evidence, and seek medical attention. As soon as you are able, it is advisable that you look into your legal options. Financial support may be available for your significant losses.