By Pendergast Law on April 18, 2014
Across the county, law enforcement officers are on the lookout for distracted drivers as part of the month-long “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign. According to a King 5 news report, Washington State has joined the crackdown with high visibility enforcement. They are specifically looking for drivers who are not paying attention to the road while using their cell phones. This includes drivers who are staring at their screen, who are holding their phone in front of their wheel, and those whose faces are lit by their phones while driving.
It is important to deter this type of behavior because distracted driving is a serious problem that results in a number of fatal crashes each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 3,328 people killed in distraction-related crashes in 2012. Furthermore, about 421,000 people were injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers during that same year.
Why is distracted driving so dangerous? Drivers that take five seconds to send a text and drive at a speed of 55 mph cover the length of a football field while not looking at the roadway. If the driver in front slows down or stops completely, they may not have time to avoid a crash due to being distracted.
Distracted drivers can face traffic citations for their negligence, but they can also be held financially accountable for the damages they cause. Distracted driving is a form of negligence, and careless drivers can face civil litigation from anyone injured by their actions. If a distracted driver has injured you, financial support may be available for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages. An experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.