Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

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Distracted Driving in Washington State

Posted Friday, March 15, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextDistracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents throughout the entire country. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities resulting from distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Distracted driving is a broad term and really refers to anything that takes your mind off of the task at hand of driving safely and reaching a destination without incident. Distracted driving presents many dangers, and some even say that distracted driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving. What exactly constitutes distracted driving? Is it texting, fiddling with the radio, or drinking a cup of coffee? Washington state has expanded upon its definition of distracted driving.

Since the number of accidents and fatalities resulting from distracted driving has been steadily increasing, the state of Washington has taken action by expanding upon what is considered distracted driving. One of the leading causes of distracted driving is using an electronic device while operating an automobile. Washington now has a law prohibiting Electronics DUI, which specifically prohibits people from holding any electronic device in their hand while driving. This prohibition also extends to sitting at a stoplight or being stopped in traffic. If you are operating the vehicle, your hands cannot be holding or touching an electronic device. If law enforcement sees you holding an electronic device, they will be able to pull you over with that being the primary offense. No longer is holding an electronic device a secondary offense that must be combined with another wrongful action to warrant pulling someone over. The exceptions to holding an electronic device are that you are permitted to use a phone to call emergency services. Aso, if a vehicle is pulled over, stopped elsewhere than the road, or otherwise out of the way of traffic, the driver is permitted to use an electronic device. However, law enforcement warns against stopping on the side of a highway to use an electronic device for additional safety reasons.

Using an electronic device is not the only means of distraction on the road. The law prohibits other forms of distraction, such as eating, reading, smoking, and other actions that can distract a driver from the task at hand. However, these types of distractions are secondary offenses. This means that law enforcement would need the driver to be committing some other driving offense to be stopped for distracted driving. Nevertheless, it is a great idea to minimize distractions. Distracted driving can cause serious injuries and death.

If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law are here to help you. We know that recovering from accidents can be difficult and costly. If your injury has been caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, you might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury suit. You should not be left to pick up the pieces without any help after an injury. Let us help you collect the funds needed to recover and return you to your non-injured state. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez)