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Seattle Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Volvo aims to eliminate fatalities in their cars and SUVs by 2020

Washington residents likely think of safety when they see a Volvo car or SUV on the road, and the Swedish automaker has worked for decades to forge a reputation for durability and crashworthiness. Volvo pioneered safety features including side impact protection systems and three-point safety belts that save thousands of lives on the nation's roads each year, and the company hopes that technology currently in development or already available will eliminate fatalities in its cars and SUVs by 2020.

According to Volvo, eliminating human error provides the greatest opportunity to reduce the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States, and it hopes to achieve this goal with autonomous vehicle technology and self-driving cars. However, the Swedish company also believes that deaths in its cars driven by human beings can be all but eliminated in the coming years by advanced accident prevention systems.

Head-on crash on icy road results in fatality

It has been reported that a Washington woman was killed in a head-on collision on Highway 169 outside of Renton. The accident happened on Jan. 6, and the woman succumbed to her injuries on the following day.

The 21-year-old woman was driving north on the highway near its intersection with Jones Road in a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. A 1998 Ford pickup truck was traveling south on the highway. The truck reportedly hit some ice, and its driver lost control. Law enforcement authorities indicated that the truck then veered into the woman's path and struck her vehicle head-on.

Fatal collision leaves 4 Secret Service Agents injured

A head-on collision in New Hampshire left one person dead and six more people injured, including four Secret Service agents, on Dec. 29. Washington residents may have heard that the nighttime accident occurred on Route 16 when a Mercury Sable crossed the double yellow lines and crashed into a Ford Taurus carrying the four agents.

The 45-year-old male driver of the Mercury died at the scene of the collision. His two passengers were also injured. The four agents, who were on duty at the time of the incident, suffered serious non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Woman drives into crowd of pedestrians on sidewalk

Washington residents might have heard about the pedestrian accident that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 20. A 24-year-old woman drove onto the sidewalk of Las Vegas Boulevard, killing one person and injuring dozens more. Authorities have not yet explained what motivated the woman's actions, though they have said that her actions were intentional.

According to the deputy chief of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the accused woman drove onto the sidewalk about three or four times, causing several nonfatal injuries and one fatal motor vehicle injury. A 32-year-old woman was killed, and 37 people suffered from injuries. The driver's 3-year-old daughter who was in the vehicle with her was not injured. In addition to the fatality, there were at least three people who were sent to the hospital in critical condition.

Driving Safety for Teens

Statistics show that teen drivers are at greater risk for car accidents than drivers in any other age group, which is why the state of Washington has specific laws that apply to teenage drivers. These laws aim to reduce risks, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes education for both teens and their parents as a method of prevention.

According to the CDC, drivers who are 16 to 19 years old are more likely than any other drivers to be involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Teens at greatest risk are males, those who are newly licensed and teen drivers who are driving with passengers in their vehicle. Many of the risk factors for teen drivers are related to behavior and attitudes. Teens are less likely to recognize hazardous driving situations than older drivers, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior while driving like speeding or following too closely behind other vehicles. They are also less likely to wear seat belts.

Driver in fatal crash may have been going over 100 mph

Washington State Patrol troopers and Monroe Police Department officers were on the scene of a fatal one-car accident on Nov. 12. The crash took place at 11:24 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 2 and Sofie Road. One passenger was confirmed dead at the scene while four other juvenile passengers were taken to area hospitals.

A WSP trooper reported that the initial investigation found evidence that the 18-year-old driver was traveling faster than 100 miles per hour when he crashed his vehicle. The teen driver was taken to Snohomish County Jail where he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana under the age of 21, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide. As of press time, authorities were continuing their investigation of the accident.

Drowsy drivers dangerous on roads

Washington residents may be interested to learn that according to a recent survey done by AAA, about two out of five drivers have nodded off while driving a vehicle. On November 4, a forum on driving while fatigued, Asleep at the Wheel, was held in Washington, D.C. The director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration addressed the forum and said that roughly 5,000 to 7,000 vehicle fatalities each year are the result of driving while drowsy.

Among all major National Transportation Safety Board investigations, fatigue was a factor in one in five accidents, and from 2001 to 2012, fatigue was a factor in 39.5 percent of major investigations. In an earlier survey conducted in 2010, AAA found that 16.5 percent of fatal accidents occur due to fatigued drivers.

Wreck in Seattle leaves 1 motorcyclist dead

While the following story is a couple of weeks old, it still exemplifies the dangers of reckless driving and shows how a fatal motor vehicle accident can affect many lives.

The crash in question happened in Seattle, Washington and it involved two speeding motorcycles and another vehicle. Apparently the two motorcycles were traveling at speeds that exceeded 100 miles per hour, and one of them crashed into the back of a car. The woman driving that motorcycle was tossed from her vehicle and landed some 75 feet away. She was killed in the crash.

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