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Pedestrian risks and safety tips

As spring returns to the Pacific Northwest, many people in Washington State are eager to spend more time outside. This can often translate into more people enjoying the chance to walk places instead of driving or taking a bus, for example. While walking can be a great form of exercise and is an environmentally friendly form of transportation, it does come with its own unique set of risks. Sharing the road with cars, trucks and other vehicles puts people on foot in vulnerable positions a great percentage of the time.

As reported by PedBikeInfo.org, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents across the United States in 2017 alone. That is a startling number and should reaffirm the need for pedestrians to be vigilant about their safety and protecting themselves.

What are ways to protect your child from bicycle accidents?

Like many Washington residents, you may remember the fun and freedom of riding a bike as a child and want your kids to have the same enjoyable experience. However, you may also worry about the risk of accidents and injuries. There are many ways that you may reduce the risk of an accident by helping your child learn to ride safely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a comprehensive guide to bicycle safety. The organization provides several tips for parents to use when teaching their children to ride safely. Wearing a properly fitted helmet is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury. Each helmet manufacturer may have slightly different sizing, so it usually works well to measure your child's head and compare the result to the relevant size chart.

Accident risks at night

During the nighttime, driving can be particularly dangerous for countless reasons. Unfortunately, many accidents occur during these hours, and the consequences can be devastating. Driving at night may increase the probability of being involved in a drunk driving crash or being struck by a driver who has been taking illegal drugs. Moreover, accidents are especially likely to happen due to less visibility and the prevalence of fatigue. It is vital to be vigilant at night because even if you are very responsible while on the road, other drivers may be reckless and place your life in danger.

Whether someone has not slept in a long time and worked for too many hours in a row, or they have had to wake up in the middle of night to go to work even though they have only slept for a short period of time, many drivers suffer from fatigue during the night. To make things worse, they may have a particularly hard time seeing the road and other vehicles, and they might doze off while behind the wheel. Aside from fatigue, some people drink alcohol or do drugs at night, and they may be especially likely to collide with another vehicle during this time period.

Where does most distracted driving in Washington occur?

Distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers on Washington's roadways. People of all ages use their smartphones while behind the wheel, and this greatly increases their chances of getting in a car accident. Every day in the United States, over 1,000 people suffer from injuries as a result of distracted driving while an average of nine people lose their lives. 

Many Washington residents may assume Seattle is the worst city in Washington for distracted driving. After all, it is the largest city with the biggest population. However, a recent study published in The Seattle Times revealed that six other cities have worse rates of distracted driving. The study should re-emphasize the need for everyone to be more cautious when on the road. People anywhere could become distracted, and everyone needs to do their part to reduce the rate of distracted driving accidents in Washington. 

How to keep teens safe on the road

Teen texting and driving as big a problem in Washington as any other state. Texting and driving especially terrifies parents, because even otherwise well-behaved teens may succumb to the temptation.

CNN illustrates, however, that adults often tend to be distracted drivers themselves. So, how can they steer teenagers down a better path? See a few tips below.

How can you avoid distracted driving?

When driving on Washington roadways, you constantly spot distracted drivers. Whether texting, eating, applying makeup or turning to talk to the person in the passenger seat, many drivers unfortunately do not keep their complete focus on the road. Distracted driving has the potential to cause nuisance fender-benders on one end of the spectrum and the potential for catastrophic consequences on the other end. 

According to The New York Times, following the 2-second rule when you are driving could be the difference between life and death, since distracted driving was connected to 9 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States in 2016. This rule basically states that you should not take your eyes off the road at any time for longer than two seconds at once. In fact, if for any reason you do remove your line of vision from the road for more than just a couple of seconds, statistics show that the odds of you getting into a car crash double. 

Motorcyclist fatalities are down, but is that good news?

Motorcyclist deaths fluctuate year by year, but a recent report indicates that fatalities were down in 2017 over the year before. That sounds like good news. However, there is another side to this statistic that is not so rosy.

About the report

Benefits of the support for new lawyers program

Beginning a new career path can be challenging, especially in the field of law. Thankfully, there are certain resources in place to aid in this journey.

The Support For New Lawyers Program is one of those resources. There are a few key benefits to participating in this program.

Understanding autonomous vehicle levels

Residents in Washington State may at times be confused when they hear or read reports about autonomous vehicles. In some cases, there may be talk of vehicles in which a person simply is the passenger but in other situations, there are references to a human person assuming responsibility for driving. This confusion is natural and the explanation for it is that there is not one flavor of an autonomous vehicle. Rather, there are multiple levels of automation.

As reported by CNET, the Society of Automotive Engineers outlined six unique levels of automation about five years ago. These levels have since been adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. The lowest level, zero, actually features no automation at all. The highest level, five, is a completely automated vehicle in which the only requirement from a human being is the entry of a desired destination.

How to spot the signs of road rage

As a Washington motorist, you know the difficulties of getting through traffic, especially if you are late to work or an important appointment. When some people are stuck in these conditions, however, they transition into an aggressive driver in an attempt to get where they are going. You may have even had road rage at some point, as AAA reported nearly 80 percent of American drivers admit to engaging in these aggressive tendencies. While it may seem common to see an enraged driver, road rage can cause catastrophic car accidents that can injure and even kill unsuspecting victims.

Law enforcement officers encourage drivers to be on the lookout for aggressive drivers. By understanding the signs of road rage, you will be better able to spot an aggressive driver and possibly prevent an accident. These signs and behaviors include the following:

  •          Obsessive horn honking, yelling, using hand gestures
  •          Speeding and erratically switching lanes through vehicles
  •          Cutting off other vehicles and hitting the brakes
  •          Failing to adhere to traffic signs, signals and crosswalks
  •          Failing to yield to drivers' right of way and pulling out in front of drivers
  •          Racing other vehicles

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