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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Drunk Driving, Speeding, and Distracted Driving in King County

Posted Friday, December 8, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a recent Money Geek report, from 2017 to 2019, King County had the most fatal accidents of any county in Washington. 308 fatal accidents with 325 fatalities. The data shows that the majority of these occurred on SR-99. In diving further into the causes, 100 were related to drunk driving, 98 to speeding, and 64 to distracted driving.

If you have been involved in a car accident in King County or another Washington county, you may have questions regarding compensation, legal process, and next steps. Talking with an experienced King County personal injury lawyer may help you understand your legal options.

*Drunk Driving in Washington Accidents*Drunk driving in Washington contributed to 500 of the 1,518 total fatal accidents in Washington between 2017 and 2019. During this time, drunk driving contributed to 33% of fatal car accidents, more than speeding and distracted driving.

Driving while intoxicated is illegal in Washington. Even what seems like a small drink of alcohol can affect a person’s ability to drive, including loss of judgment and reduced visual acuity.

*Speeding in Fatal Accidents in Washington*Speeding contributed to 468 fatal accidents in Washington. This is nearly as many fatal accidents as drunk driving - almost one-third, 31%, from 2017 to 2019.

Speeding is a preventable action. Drivers may feel in control at high speeds but may not be able to stop in time to avoid danger. Crashes tend to be more severe, and injuries are more critical when driving at high speeds.

*Distracted Driving in Deadly Washington Crashes*Distracted driving refers to focusing away from the road. The behaviors refer to texting, cellphone use, changing the radio, grabbing a fallen phone, tending to a pet, talking to a passenger, and getting something for a crying child.

Just a moment of distraction results in accidents. In Washington, from 2017 to 2019, distracted driving resulted in 367 fatal accidents.

RCW 46.6.672 is a Washington law regarding using a personal electronic device while driving. Simply put, it is illegal to use a personal electronic device while driving, and it may result in a fine.

RCW 46.61.673 is the law stating that it is illegal to engage in any activity that takes your focus off driving safely. This law doesn’t spell out all the specific distractions - but you can imagine it might be a long list. Among the distracting behaviors are putting on makeup, personal grooming, eating, interacting with other passengers, feeding a hungry child, or petting a puppy.

*How to Practice Safe Driving in King County*Consider a few easy practices to help you drive safely in Washington:Drive only when you have not been drinking alcohol. Designate a sober driver before you head out. Stay put if everyone has been drinking and wait until the next day.

Drive within the speed limits. Do not speed. Do not go over the limit, even if it seems that no one else is on the road.

Turn off your cell phone. Put it out of reach. Designate a passenger to handle all texts and electronic equipment. If you are driving alone, pull over to a safe spot to make a call or text.

Talk to a Caring King County Personal Injury Lawy*er*If you have been involved in a King County accident, you may have questions about the legal process, getting compensation, and potential next steps. Talking with a compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyer may help provide peace of mind.