Distracted Driving Awareness Month Kicks Off in WA State with Extra Distracted Driving Patrols
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Across the United States, Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a unified effort to raise awareness about the risks of distracted driving to help put an end to preventable deaths and injuries on our roads.
As reported by khq.com, in Washington State, law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols for distracted driving behaviors for a week, starting today through April 11, 2022. These extra patrols will be stationed at intersections and other areas with a focus on finding drivers who are engaged in driving behaviors that take their attention away from the road. A citation for a first offense is $136 and a second offence jumps up to $234.
The good news is that Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s annual distracted driving survey found a drop in incidences of distracted driving between 2020 and 2021, from 9.4 percent to 6.9 percent. The bad news is that there are still too many people engaging in dangerous distracted driving behaviors that are leading to unnecessary injuries and deaths.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a distracted driver, you have a right to be “made whole” again with a full and fair car accident settlement. Contact a local car accident lawyer who can assess your case and discuss your legal rights.
Types of distracted driving
The most common behaviors involved in distracted driving accidents are:
- Cell phone use
- Teenage drivers with passengers
- Rowdy kids or pets
- Activities such as eating, applying makeup, and changing music
Research has shown that it takes nearly 30 seconds for a driver to refocus their attention on the road after engaging in a distracted driving behavior – a car accident can happen in far less time. While teenage drivers are the most likely age group to end up in a distracted driving accident, drivers of all ages engage in risky driving behaviors. According to the National Safety Council, drivers who use their cell phones while driving are the cause of 1.6 million accidents every year. Almost 390,000 injuries are caused by texting and driving every year and one out of every four motor vehicle accidents in the United States is due to texting and driving.
Washington State distracted driving law
Governor Jay Inslee signed a tougher distracted driving law prohibiting handheld cell phone use while driving in Washington State on May 16, 2017. The law uses the acronym E-DUI to refer to a type of impairment caused by hand held cell phone use. Since the law went into effect in 2017, deaths from E-DUI dropped 40 percent by 2020. While this is amazing progress, it’s important to know that State Troopers issued 11,890 E-DUI tickets in 2021.
The very best thing we can do is to put our phones away and set our music or GPS navigation before we start our cars. Make a commitment to focus on the road every time we get behind the wheel.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!