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.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Safe Driving for Teens in Washington

Posted Friday, December 1, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, car crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for Washington teens. Most of the crashes are caused by teens who are distracted, speeding, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Experts advise parents and teens to be proactive about safe driving. The key is to learn about the dangers of distracted driving, reduce distracted driving, and practice safe driving techniques. WSDOL notes that it is possible to travel more than the length of a football field - in the time it takes to read a text message or dial a number on your cellphone. Distracted driving laws are in effect in Washington state.

If you have been involved in a traffic incident, talking with an experienced King County Personal Injury lawyer may help you decide how to move forward.

*Dangers of Distracted Driving in Washington*In a WSDOL report, numerous statistics reveal the dangers of distracted driving.

In Washington state, 6,000 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2008, and 500,000 were injured.

A driver talking on a cell phone is considered as impaired as a driver with twice the legal limit of blood alcohol, or a .16 blood-alcohol level.

Further, a distracted driver has a slower response rate. In emergencies, drivers talking on cellphones are half a second slower to hit the brakes. Compared with attentive drivers, drivers talking on cell phones miss more than half of the visual cues due to distraction.

*Hands-Free Law in Washington*Washington state is serious about preventing crashes and prohibits drivers from holding a wireless device.

Chapter 46.61.667 RCW is the Washington Law defining the rules of the role regarding cell phone use. Talking on a cellphone or sending a text message while holding a wireless device is punishable with a $124 fine. Washington police can pull you over and give you a ticket if they see you holding a phone.

Hands-free devices are required in Washington. Except in emergencies, new drivers with instruction permits or intermediate licenses cannot use wireless devices.

*How Parents Can Help Teens Stay Safe in Washington*According to the WSDOL, parents can help teens by having an open conversation about the dangers of distracted driving.

For many families, giving a teen a cell phone was an important way to support communication. It was a vital tool to stay in touch, stay safe, and stay informed.

However, when teens start driving, this same device can become one of the most dangerous tools and should used with awareness.

Parents can set an agreement with teens. A written agreement outlines the terms for driving, cellphone use, expectations, and safety practices. The agreement is a written document confirming the precise terms teens and parents agree to uphold.

*Stay Alert and Be a Role Model in Washington*Parents are role models for safe driving, using hands-free devices, and not using cell phones or texting while driving. One simple tip is to keep the cell phone in the trunk to avoid temptation.

Take extra precautions to not use a cell phone or text while driving. Your actions can help teens learn how to drive without texting or talking on a cell phone.

*Speak to an Experienced King County Lawyer*If you have experienced an accident in King County, you may have questions about compensation and the legal process. Our experienced team at Pivotal Law is here to discuss your situation, answer your questions, and explore legal options.