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Washington State Patrol Wants Harsher Distracted Driving Laws

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 13, 2015

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.

Sending a text is not the only form of distracted driving that can contribute to a serious injury accident. Distracted driving is technically any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the roadway. Driving requires visual, manual and cognitive attention. So, a driver is distracted the moment he takes his mind off of driving, his eyes off the road or his hands off the wheel.

How serious a problem is distracted driving? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving related accidents in the year 2012. Furthermore, approximately 421,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver. That is an increase of 9 percent from the year 2011 when 387,000 people were injured in distraction-affected crashes.

Drivers who are distracted are behaving negligently and negligent drivers can be held accountable for the damages they cause. Therefore, if a distracted driver hurts you, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages. A skilled Seattle car accident attorney at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help you get fair compensation for all your losses.

Click here to view our infographic: Are YOU Driving While Distracted?

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