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Seattle Personal Injury Blog

Child safety seat recommendations

In the ideal world, motor vehicle accidents would never happen. In today's world, however, residents in Washington State know that accidents can and do happen. Therefore, being prepared by taking precautions to reduce injuries in the event of a crash is not only an important thing to do but is also the responsible thing to do. For parents, relatives or caregivers who transport children, care should be taken to ensure that the proper safety seats are used.

For a while, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents keep their children in rear-facing seats until they were 24 months old. However, the AAP has recently issued a new set of recommendations. People are now encouraged to keep children in seats that can be positioned facing the rear of a vehicle for as long as the children are able to fit properly in the seats. For many children, this may be well past their second birthdays.

How can I recognize a drunk driver?

Drunk drivers pose a huge risk to everyone on the roadways in Washington, but they can be especially devastating for motorcyclists. If you ride a bike, then you know how important it is to stay alert and aware of the vehicles around you on the road. To protect yourself and others, you should understand how to recognize a drunk driver so you can report them and get them off the road before they have a chance to hurt anybody.

MADD suggests watching for subtle signs, such as not using headlights at night or the use of turning signals that does not correspond with what the driver is doing. You also can look for more obvious signs, such as weaving or almost hitting other vehicles or other objects. Odd driving habits, such as braking for no reason, driving very slowly or turning without warning, are also signs of an impaired driver.

2 killed in train accident despite conductor's efforts to stop

When a fatal accident happens in Washington, the outcome can always be devastating for the people who knew the victim, but it can be equally as startling and saddening to people who witness the accident. In many cases, people who may witness a fatal accident occur are left with vivid images in their head of what happened and some are unable to overcome their anxiety without a professional's help.

A tragic accident that happened in Bourne, Massachusetts illustrates this point when what was supposed to be a fun-filled train ride at Christmastime ended abruptly when two people were struck and killed by the train. The Christmas-themed train was providing entertainment for children and their families by advertising itself as the Polar Express on its way to visit "Christmas Town." Witnesses described hearing a loud rumbling sound as the train's horn blared shortly before it came to a screeching halt. Investigators later learned that a man and woman who had been walking on the train tracks were struck and killed. 

What should drivers know about train speeds?

If you live in an area of Washington with a lot of train traffic, then understanding how to properly interact with them is essential to your safety and the safety of your passengers. Too often people make mistakes when it comes to train crossings that cost them their lives. Nobody wants that to happen to you. One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is to understand the concept of train speeds.

To begin with, the Washington State Department of Transportation explains either the Utilities and Transportation Commission or the Federal Railroad Administration set what speeds a train can go. The UTC sets speed only where the FRA does not because federal law comes before state law, giving the FRA the main authority.

Your accident case and your pre-existing conditions

The law allows plaintiffs to recover damages in order to make them whole, as far as possible, from the harm they suffered due to the defendant's negligence. Thus, a plaintiff can obtain compensation for items such as medical costs, pain and suffering and other limitations or expenses his or her injury may entail.

In a case where a plaintiff has endured previous injuries or suffers from a previous medical condition, specifically identifying harm that results from the accident and not from these other factors can pose a challenge.

Safety tips for bicyclists and pedestrians

Washington State is a great place for people who enjoy being active outdoors or for utilizing bicycles as a means of transportation to and from work, school or other locations. However, it is important for anyone on a bike or on foot to always be aware of the potential risks around them so they can remain safe.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the State of Washington experienced the death of 63 bicyclists in the five years spanning 2013 to 2017. In that same time period, 394 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents. King County was the location of 16 of those bicyclist deaths and 113 of the pedestrian deaths.

What is Washington's DUI-E law?

Most people have heard of distracted driving, but many drivers are not familiar with the recently-enacted DUI-E law in Washington. If you live in Seattle, or elsewhere in the state, it is pivotal to be aware of this law and avoid any distractions that could lead to a crash. Furthermore, you should swiftly review your legal options and take action if you are ever struck by a driver who is in violation of the state's DUI-E law.

According to a write-up that was recently published by AAA Washington, 69 percent of drivers throughout Washington continue to use phones while they are behind the wheel. However, 90 percent of Washington drivers reported that they knew about this DUI-E law, which highlights how problematic the use of electronics while driving really is. The law, which went into place last year, prohibits drivers from using electronic devices such as smartphones while they are on the road.

The dangers of distracted driving and how to avoid them

Each day, negligent and innocent motorists, passengers and pedestrians lose their lives in car accidents stemming from distractions. Though the dangers of distracted driving are well documented, many Seattle drivers dismiss them because they have been fortunate enough to avoid collisions thus far or ended up with relatively few and minor injuries. 

The majority of distracted driving accidents involve the use of smartphones. Many incidents caused by driving distractions end with victims sustaining severe injuries and trauma. There is a reason why a driver’s eyes and attention must remain on the roads and motorists around them. In the few seconds one uses to check or send text messages, road and driving conditions can change, making collisions more likely. That is especially true in the presence of other distracted motorists. 

When your pet is hurt in a car crash

Car accidents can leave people with devastating injuries or even claim their lives. However, it is important to remember that these accidents can have other ramifications also. For example, a beloved pet, such as a dog, may be involved in an accident and sustain an injury. This may result in financial burdens such as vet bills or emotional pain due to losing a pet that has been cherished by an entire family for years. As a result, whenever these crashes are caused by another driver’s irresponsibility, they should be held accountable for all the suffering they cause.

People bring their pets along in the car for many reasons. For example, someone may be moving to a new house and transporting their cats, or someone riding in the vehicle may depend on a dog due to a disability they suffer from. Some people simply like to bring their dog along for a ride when they leave the house. Sadly, pets can be especially vulnerable when an accident occurs, which is why it is important for drivers to focus on the safety of their pets beforehand.

Seattle Vision Zero and impact on serious injuries

Seattle is one of many cities across the United States to implement a Vision Zero safety plan. The program originally began in Sweden in 1997, but has since spread to several cities on both coasts of the U.S.

Each Vision Zero city meets specific requirements that are minimum standards for participation. The overarching goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

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