Car crashes happen all too often in Seattle. If all drivers were to adhere to safety regulations and laws, the number of car crashes in Seattle would lower drastically. Not only are driver negligence, intoxication, and recklessness main factors contributing to car crashes, Seattle’s infamous inclement weather tends to play a big part as well.
Knowing the cause of a vehicle crash is crucial in determining the compensation given for injuries and losses suffered. Below are some of the leading causes of car crashes in Seattle.
1. Driving Under the Influence
If you are operating a vehicle while drunk, drugged, or both; you are driving under the influence. Intoxicated drivers are the leading cause of fatal car crashes in Washington, with ⅓ of fatal accidents involving intoxicated driving. DUI accidents tend to be disproportionately severe, proving there is no reason a person should be behind the wheel if they have been drinking or using substances. Intoxicated drivers must be held accountable for their actions–both criminally and civilly.
Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles at a safe speed at all times. Though driving the maximum speed limit may seem like a safe speed, that is not always the case. Drivers must adjust their speeds to whatever weather conditions are occurring. Here in Seattle, it rains often, so driving below the speed limit in rainy conditions is safer for you and those around you. In urban areas like Seattle, speeding is especially dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. In a one-year period: 150 people were killed, 437 people were seriously injured, and 6,235 people sustained minor injuries due to vehicular speeding, according to statistics.
3. Distracted Driving
You cannot operate a vehicle safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Drivers on the phone, changing stations on the radio, eating, drinking, or even talking to fellow passengers are all actively putting those on the road at risk of a collision. Texting has proved to be the most prevalent cause of distracted driving. According to the NHTSA, in 2018 alone, 2,841 people were killed by distracted drivers across the United States. In 2015, nearly half of all car crashes occurring in Washington were caused, at least partially, by distracted drivers according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. All drivers have a legal duty to keep their full attention on the road at all times. Washington has recently enacted a new law specifically catered to distracted driving. A driver does not have to be cited by authorities for distracted driving to be found civilly liable for the collisions they cause. Drivers convicted of distracted driving face heavy fines and may face criminal and civil charges for damages or injuries caused.
4. Failure to Obey Traffic Safety Signals
Any road signs, lights, or indicators must be obeyed at all times, it is the law. Intersections tend to be a common location for serious car crashes to occur due to drivers’ inability to follow traffic control devices – like stoplights. Many drivers also face the problem of yielding improperly to those with the right-of-way. Motorists must always ensure that they yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic before making a left turn or a U-turn. Drivers must always be sure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, if there is no crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to oncoming drivers.
Contact Experienced Car Crash Injury Attorneys in Seattle
If you have any questions, please contact us for more information and to schedule your free consultation. You can reach us by submitting your contact information online or calling us at 206-826-8200. Attorney Kevin Coluccio has over 30 years of experience successfully handling car crash cases in the Seattle area and across the State of Washington. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact attorney Kevin Coluccio for help.