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Seattle Personal Injury Blog

Avoiding the dangers of drowsy driving

Many motorists in the Seattle area drive when they are feeling less alert and unrested, not realizing the dangers they face and create on the roads. Drowsy driving is dangerous. It can have devastating effects on individuals who end up in motor vehicle collisions with sleep deprived-drivers.

People may think driving while tired is nothing to worry about. But sleep deprivation affects the brain in similar ways that alcohol does. Here is a brief overview of the dangers of drowsy driving and how to avoid them. 

Congress proposes new truck safety guards requirement

Once in a while, politicians set aside party lines to address a situation that deserves a solution. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Marco Rubio both agree: their proposed bill can prevent some deadly truck accidents.

The two senators proposed required safety guards for the sides and the front of large trucks. This may prevent cars from sliding underneath them, which almost always causes catastrophic damage. These tragic accidents are called “underrides” and have deprived families of their loved ones.

New technology for cyclists could be a breakthrough

Washington offers lush opportunities for cyclists, whether you’re getting from point A to point B in downtown Seattle or looking for a scenic route along Elliott Bay Trail. Sadly, cyclists also have to be aware of the many dangers around them, particularly motor vehicles.

Dedicated bike lanes, reflectors and safety wear help motorists see and avoid cyclists, but the frequency of bicycle accidents suggests that more could be done to prevent tragedy. As with many modern problems, technology may contribute to a solution.

Grace period ends for new distracted driving law

Washington residents should know not to use their phones while driving by now, according to law enforcement. For the past six months, Washington State Patrol has given warnings to drivers who use personal devices on the road, but this grace period is now over.

In the spring of 2017, Washington lawmakers passed new rules regarding distracted driving. This law (RCW 46.61.672) restricts the use of electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle among prohibiting other diversions. Laptops, phones, gaming systems and even GPS devices fall under this legislation.

How to handle road rage incidents with other motorists

When you think of road rage in Seattle, the first thing that might come to mind is the exchange of angry words and gestures. You might not realize how much of a role an angry motorist’s actions can play in fatal car accidents. You likely see it on television all the time; a person cuts off another driver and the driver rolls down his or her window, waves a fist and starts yelling. The person who angered the other driver glares and speeds off. In real life, many road rage incidents do not happen like that. Instead, the raging motorist speeds up to catch the other driver. The result is often a collision that ends in tragedy. 

Road rage is another form of aggression 

Amtrak's liability following the recent train derailment

Earlier this month, a new, high-speed Amtrak train was derailed while making its maiden voyage from Seattle to Portland. The train swerved off of the elevated tracks about 50 miles south of Seattle and landed on Interstate 5 during rush hour. Three people were killed and many more injured.

This tragic event marks Amtrak's third fatal accident in the last three years. The train was recorded as traveling at around 80 miles per hour on a section of track where the speed limit abruptly dropped to 30 to account for a curve. In the wake of such a disaster, one might wonder: who should be held responsible?

Smoking while driving may be a distraction

Health professionals have long foretold the dangers of smoking. Many smokers know that the habit can affect their lungs, teeth and heart, but at least it doesn’t hurt anyone else – or so they may believe. What many people don’t realize is that smoking can also be a hazard on the road.

Smoking might not seem like it involves as much distraction as texting, for example, but it is still a manual distraction at least. While holding a cigarette or joint, drivers may take their hands off the wheel repeatedly. Opening, lighting, and extinguishing it may also distract a driver for the few split seconds it takes to cause a fatal crash.

Important factors for premise liability

Accidents occur every day, and some leave individuals with a serious injury. In an instance where the accident is due to improperly identified and unsafe conditions, the victim may have a premise liability case.

If you or a loved one are considering filing a claim, you should make sure you understand the process. There are a few important factors to consider about premise liability.

Headlights are a safety feature, too

How often do you drive in the dark? Right now in Seattle, the sun sets before 4:30 p.m. Chances are that you’ve been relying heavily on your headlights and street lamps. Your vision and well-being depend on your headlights’ ability to function.

It’s easy to forget how crucial your vehicle’s lights are to your safety. After all, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) only recently began including headlights in safety ratings for new vehicles. In the dark, it can be easy to miss hazards on the road without proper illumination.

Rental cars: 3 things to check before you drive

If you plan to jet off for the holidays, you might also be planning to rent a vehicle during your visit. Renting a car might make you worried about wrecking it, then receiving an outrageous repair bill from the company. However, that’s not the biggest threat; driving an unfamiliar car can compromise your well-being.

The new scenery and car can be an excellent breath of fresh air, as long as you have a way to safely adjust to the differences.

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