Seattle speed limit changes for safer streets

The recent changes to the Seattle speed limit have been a long time coming, but are just an incremental step in a larger plan for safer streets.  The process of setting speed limits for streets and highways is surprisingly complex. Maximum speeds are set by each state legislature, which must balance the interests of stakeholders statewide. The social costs and benefits of lower speeds often lose in a head-to-head competition the economic and political benefits of higher speed limits. Historically, lawmakers have prioritized speed over safety. The consequences have been deadly. “U.S. streets have long been designed to promote speed at all costs, with deadly consequences” Linda Bailey, Executive Director of NACTO The irrefutable fact is that excessive speed causes more

New “cover your load” law coming to Washington State in 2020?

On February 22, 2004, Maria Federici was blinded and nearly killed by a piece of particle board that flew out of a rented trailer, struck her windshield and hit her in the face. The driver of the vehicle pulling the trailer had been moving all day, and failed to properly secure the particle board in the trailer. At the time, there was no law addressing the consequences of poorly secured loads. The driver was merely cited for a traffic infraction and paid a small fine. Because of her daughter’s life-changing injuries and the lack of laws protecting the general public from unsecured loads, Maria’s mother, Robin Abel, became an activist for safety laws and began a fight for new and

Court holds trucking companies 100% responsible for Skagit Bridge collapse

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court issued a ruling in the ongoing litigation between the State and trucking companies regarding the collapse of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge in 2013. Washington Supreme Court tells trucking companies, not WSDOT, to pay for I-5 Skagit bridge collapse While Judge Steven Gonzalez’ reasoning was not completely sound and seemed to conflict with Washington State’s tort reform law enacted in 1986, the conclusion that the trucking companies responsible for the collapse are 100% responsible for the damages caused is just. After the bridge collapse, I represented Bryce, who was on his way to play hockey and was crossing the bridge as it collapsed beneath his car. Bryce struggled to get out of his sinking

Refresher course in winter crash prevention for Washington drivers

Snow is falling in the Washington mountain passes. The seasonal changes in the Pacific Northwest always seem to result in a terrible series of crashes as drivers re-learn winter weather driving. While you should always be careful behind the wheel of a car, additional measures are necessary for winter crash prevention. Winter crash prevention Check the weather conditions before you go. Twitter is a great place to get local weather and traffic conditions. Clean all of the snow, ice and debris off your car – every time. Drive slowly. You are not in a race. Use low gears on hills. Brake before you start to turn. A spinout is an easy winter crash to avoid. Increase your stopping distance. Be

Washington state has biggest surge in truck crash fatalities

The trucking safety group Road Safe America analyzed federal crash data from 2009-2017. They found that nearly all U.S. states had increases in semi-truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017.  But Washington State has experienced the biggest percentage increase in truck crash fatalities. The five states with the largest percentage increases in truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017 were, in order of greatest increase – Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada. Road Safe America cites hike in big rig crash deaths, again calls for speed limiters We’ve looked at the alarming increase in heavy truck crashes in Washington State before, and have handled several cases involving fatalities. In the past few years, the truck crash fatality rate has been

Here’s what happened in the powdered milk truck crash on I-5

Overview of I5 Crashes Interstate 5 (I-5) runs through the heart of Washington State and is one of the region’s busiest and most critical highways. This section provides a statistical overview of crash incidents, highlighting the road’s reputation for heavy traffic and high accident rates. Statistics of I-5 Crashes Recent statistics underscore the hazardous nature of I-5: Fatal Crashes: According to a study by Geotab, I-5 has been identified as the most dangerous highway in Washington, with 245 fatal crashes resulting in 258 fatalities over the last decade. Crash Rate: The fatal crash rate on the Washington portion of I-5 is 0.3, ranking it the 40th most dangerous highway in the states analyzed in the study. Annual Traffic: The highway


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