Fatal car accidents due to distraction declining in Washington

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2020 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Even with the reduction in traffic due to current health concerns in Washington State and across the United States, people are taking to the road and car accidents are still occurring. The same inherent dangers with driving will remain in place regardless of societal circumstances. That includes drivers who are under the influence, drowsy drivers, negligent drivers and distracted drivers. All can cause injuries and fatalities with the accompanying problems.

Regarding distracted driving, recently released statistics show that the number of auto accident fatalities because of distraction has reduced over the past four years. This improvement has coincided with a new law regarding handheld devices that went into effect in 2017. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says that since the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act was put in place, there were substantially fewer fatal crashes due to distraction.

In 2016, there were 155 deaths in the state due to a distracted driver. By 2019, there were 122 such fatalities. Overseers of the program assert that the law is working because drivers are showing greater vigilance about avoiding distracted driving. In its annual traffic survey, WTSC discovered that most state residents are aware that holding a phone while behind the wheel – even when stopped at a light – violates the law. In addition, 69% stated that it is dangerous to use a cellphone when driving.

Despite the positive results from the law, distracted driving car accidents still occur and can lead to injuries and fatalities. Being cognizant of this possibility is key to staying safe. When there is an auto accident, one of the immediate thoughts that comes to a person’s mind is that the other driver was distracted. Simply looking left or right when on the road and it is easy to see another driver who is looking down, clearly inattentive and likely distracted. Laws aside, it remains a challenge.

Although there has been a short-term improvement in distracted driving fatality statistics in the state, that has not eliminated the problem. Car accidents can cause serious injuries, lost income, long-term damage, fatalities and more. It can be a personal, emotional, professional and financial strain. After a crash, understanding the cause may be essential to a successful legal filing. A law firm experienced in car accidents might be able to help with a claim for compensation.


FindLaw Network