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Distracted driving rules in Washington are strict and distracted drivers who cause car accidents may be liable for their negligent actions in different ways. One way distracted drivers may be held accountable is through a personal injury claim for damages that can help victims of distracted driving-related accidents recover compensation for their damages.

Distracted drivers may injure bicyclists, pedestrians and others traveling in passenger vehicles. Distracted drivers can place everyone they share the roadways with at risk. Unfortunately, distracted driving increases the risk of a car accident as though the driver has a blood alcohol content level of 1.9. Washington Traffic Safety Commission data shows that distracted driving-related fatalities are increasing in Washington State. Distracted driving accounts for 30% of fatalities and 23% of serious injuries in car accidents throughout the state.

In addition, one out of four car accidents involve the use of a cell phone just prior to the car accident. Observational surveys also revealed that one in ten drivers are distracted in Washington. Washington is a hands-free state that prohibits drivers from using cell phones while driving unless they are hands-free such as by using a Bluetooth. Using a cell phone while driving and texting while driving is a type of driver distraction that involves visual, manual and cognitive distraction which removes the driver’s eyes and attention from the roadway and hands from the wheel.

Victims of distracted drivers can be seriously, and fatally, injured in a distracted driving-related car accident. As a result, victims and their families should be familiar with the different types of personal injury protections available in place to help them when harmed by a distracted driver.