Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

teen%20texting%20and%20driving.jpgIt is estimated that 1.6 million car accidents occur every year due to distracted driving. Now car companies and technology companies are designing new technologies which have the potential to save thousands of lives by preventing distracted driving car accidents.

With an estimated nine deaths a day due to distracted driving and 500,000 people injured every year, technology must keep up with the increasing lure of texting and driving.

Cellcontrol™ — Cellcontrol™ is a technology in which a small standalone “control” box is installed in a vehicle. The device syncs with phones in the car via a app and it allows one to set customized limits on what is permitted on a cell phone while driving. Limits can be customized, for example, a passenger can be allowed to text while a driver cannot.

Life360 is a popular ap which allows families and friends to stay connected. Ford has partnered with the company to provide an in-the-dash solution which notifies people who are texting a driver that the driver cannot answer the text until the car has stopped.

Seeing Machines is a technology which monitors a driver’s eye movements and warns the driver if they are fatigued or distracted by tracking their eye movements.We will see “seeingmachines” installed in commercial carriers first but this is technology that will come to the personal automobile in the near future.

New technologies can certainly curb or stop distracted and save lives.

Driving a motor vehicle in Washington is a privilege and it is the responsibility of every driver to pay attention and stay focused at the task of driving.

Washington state has laws which prohibit drivers from using a cell phone while driving and the state passed a cell phone ban in 2007. The Senate is now seeking to expand the texting-while-driving ban to include all cellphone use while driving except for some hands-free functions.

How can attorney help if I’ve been injured by a distracted driver?

Drivers who are involved in a cra accident due to being distracted may face criminal penalties. In addition, accident victims may be entitled to obtain compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

Each case is unique and circumstances of the accident and a person’s losses determine the amount of compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide you the answers to your questions.

Washington Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

The Farber Law Group has been presenting people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents for more than 30 years. We handle all accident and injury cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that you do not pay any up front legal costs unless we win your case for you.

Call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation at 1-800-244-9087.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

For more information see: What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?
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One in four drivers admit to driving while being so tired that they can hardly keep their eyes open. This is a a serious hazard on our roads because studies show that driving while extremely fatigued is comparable to drunk driving because it affects ones vision, thinking abilities, impairs motors skills and slows ones reaction time. AAA claims that drowsy driving is a factor in up to 11.6% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that 4.2% of all the surveyed drivers admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past 30 days. This number could even be higher because some people are not even aware when they fall asleep for a few seconds.

A recent auto accident involving Comedian Tracy Morgan highlights what can happen when a driver is driving drowsy. Tracy Morgan was seriously injured and another man was killed when a Wal-Mart truck driver crashed into Morgan’s vehicle. Morgan has filed a negligence lawsuit against Wal-Mart claiming that the truck driver, Kevin Roper was speeding and fell asleep at the wheel.

Drivers attempt all sorts of things to attempt to combat drowsiness including drinking coffee, opening windows, stretching, listening to loud music, stretching, and slapping themselves. However there are only two things that are effective to combat the effects of drowsy driving:
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  1. Switching drivers
  2. Pulling off the road and napping

Symptoms of Drowsy Driving
We all know when we are tired but when you start yawning, spacing out, blinking, hitting rumble strips, drifting from your lane, it’s time to get off the road, take a nap and drink some coffee. Drivers should make sure they are well rested, that they seek treatment for sleep disorders like sleep apnea and avoid alcohol to combat drowsy driving.

Drowsy Driving Accidents — Serious Consequences

Drivers who cause an auto accident because they are driving drowsy face serious consequences. In the case of Tracy Morgan’s accident, the Wal-Mart drivers has been charged with “death by auto and assault by auto.” In Washington state, the equivalent would be Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault. Roper is accused with not sleeping for 24 hours before he drove.

Morgan’s filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart claiming under the doctrine “respondeat superior” which provides that an employer is responsible for the actions of an employee in the scope of their employment. Morgan’s lawsuit also claims that the collision-avoidance system in the Wal-Mart truck was not functioning properly at the time of the accident.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver who was driving under the influence or who was negligent, you are well-advised to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years representing car accident victims and their families.
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Elizabeth Helen Meyers faces manslaughter charges for the death of a motorcyclist whom she hit while she was allegedly driving and texting.

The auto-motorcycle accident occurred on March 10 in Gambrills, Md. When Meyers pulled in front of the 30-year-old motorcyclist, Jonathan Wesley Roberts, causing him to crash. He died a short time after the accident at the hospital.

An eyewitness to the accident saw Meyers driving with one hand on the steering wheel and looking down and texting with the other hand prior to the accident.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Meyers faces up to ten years in prison as well as fines if she is found guilty of the charges against her including criminal negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle and reckless driving.

It is common today to see someone using a cell phone while driving as well as texting. Motorists engaged in this behavior put everyone’s lives at risk. Significant studies show that texting or talking on a cell phone while driving impairs one’s ability as much or more than driving under the influence. Texting while driving is an extremely dangerous practice and can increase an auto accident risk by 28%.

If you have been involved in an accident and the other driver was either talking or talking using a cell phone, you should contact a personal injury attorney who may be able to recover damages. Washington laws may allow you to collect punitive damages which are designed to punish the offending driver. The threat of punitive damages may help you obtain a favorable insurance settlement because insurance companies do not want to pay damages beyond insurance coverage.
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An Arlington School District bus driver has returned to work after she was investigated for texting while driving.

The Everett Herald Net.com reports that a Post Middle School student ‘s mother complained to the district after her son allegedly witnessed the bus driver texting.

The unidentified bus driver was on leave during the investigation but has since returned to work. The district did not disclose if any disciplinary action was taken. The bus driver has worked for the district for 21 years prior to the complaint.

While we don’t know the results of the investigation, we do know that that other bus drivers have been involved in accidents or were caught using an electronic device while driving.

In Oregon, a school bus driver was fired after being photographed texting while driving and a TriMet bus driver was videotaped reading from a Kindle device while driving a metro bus.

Last year, I took a Caribbean Cruise with my mother and aunt and we took a chartered bus to the cruise terminal. As we entered the highway, the bus driver picked up his phone and was either texting or reading his texts. I yelled at him to, “Put your phone away!”

In 2010, the Department of Transportation banned professional drivers from text messaging while driving. Drivers who text while driving can face civil or criminal penalties an fines up to $2,750.

Distracted driving, including texting while driving, is a leading cause of motor vehicle accident fatalities.
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seattle car accident lawyerJennifer Moeller, 22, has entered a guilty plea to the charge of “serious injury by vehicle” and hit-and-run in the car-vs-motorcycle accident that seriously injured Joan Nicholson reports WOWT.com.

Moeller was texting while driving and crossed into the oncoming lane and hit Nicholson, seriously injuring her. Moeller has not yet faced sentencing.

This accident certainly illustrates the perils of texting while driving. Distracted driving and texting while driving has become a serious epidemic in the U.S. A study released by the Texting Awareness Foundation found that 14 youths die every day from texting behind the wheel and 18% of all fatal car accidents are caused by cell phone use. It has become a cultural norm, especially for America’s youths, to have a hand-held device at the ready.

Perhaps Moeller did not realize that in the time it takes to text two words, a car traveling at 55mph can travel the length of a football field. Taking ones eyes off the road for the few seconds it takes can result in a serious injury accident, or even death.

If this accident occurred in Washington state, Moeller might very well face charges of Vehicular Assault. Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61.522 states that a motorist can be charged with Vehicular Assault if a person in seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was under the influence or driving with reckless disregard to the safety of others. A person convicted of vehicular assault could face up to a year in prison.
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Cellphone and loud music are a distraction when we’re driving, that’s common knowledge at this point. But there are more people on the road than just drivers, and these pedestrians and cyclists are also prone to distracting gadgets.

This point is reinforced by a new study published in The Journal of Injury Prevention. Researchers from the University of Maryland examined pedestrian-car accident profiles over the last six years, and found that injury rates tripled for people wearing headphones. This alarmed researchers, who noted that it is a limited study but also saw the data as cause for further investigation.

Richard Lichenstein, M.D. was the lead author of the study, and put it this way: “Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears.”

Dr. Lichenstein makes a good point, though it’s based on anecdotal evidence. Consider all of the times you’ve seen a young person bumping around the sidewalk or crossing an intersection while looking at a phone and listening to headphones. Lichenstein’s study supports his eye-ball test. Of the 116 reported deaths or injuries that he tracked, the majority of victims were male and younger than 30. Most strikingly, 74 percent of the cases stated that the victim was wearing headphones at the time of the crash.

The primary flaw of the relatively small study was that the source of most of the information came from media reports, which is not the most reliable source. That being the case, researchers were careful not to put too much stock in the specifics of the data, instead presenting the study as a means of highlighting the issue of pedestrian distraction itself.

Just like driving safety, children are taught how to move safely around the streets from a young age. What we learn to look both ways before crossing the street and to always use our ears to inform us of what’s going on around us. More simply, to use our eyes and ears at all times. But handheld devices–and especially devices that engage eyes and ears with headphones-can dramatically impair those senses.

Comparisons have been drawn between distracted and drunk driving. Perhaps an appropriate parallel to distracted walking is public intoxication. But unlike drunk driving, not since prohibition has public intoxication been a hot button national issue. It’s simply hard envision a person walking around on his or her phone ever being viewed as a public evil like distracted driving. That’s because young people like those the study found were more likely to be involved in a headphones-related accident don’t use cellphones as a communication device. It’s a connection to the virtual self where we store information, entertainment and of course our entire social network. But no matter how connected to our devices we become, our bodies stay in the here and now of the physical world, where crosswalks, cars and unexpected dangers remain.

The solution may be as simple as parents and teachers integrating an awareness of just how distracting mp3 players and cell phone applications can be into the routine lessons about looking both ways. As the researches pointed out, a thorough investigation into the dangers that these devices can pose to pedestrians can help us all understand what needs to be done.
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A nurse who was injured when she lost control of her car when she checked her personal cell phone while driving has had her worker’s compensation claim upheld by the Virginia Court of Appeals.
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Donna Turner, an on-call hospice nurse, claimed that she was programmed to check her pager when contacted by her employer. If the pager did not work, her employer’s protocol was for her to check her personal cell phone as the backup to her beeper.

According to a report written by David Sherfinski in The Washington Times, Turner was driving on a mountainous road when she her cell phone distracted her which caused her to lose control.

The court confirmed that Turpin’s cell phone, at the time, was reserved for communication with her employer, Wythe County Community Hospital, and therefore her injury accident arose “out of and in the course of ” her employment.

The court’s ruling affirms that Turpin is eligible for worker’s compensation.

Virginia does not have the same restrictions to using a hand held cell phone as Washington state has. There is no ban to using a hand-held cell phone while driving in Virginia while there is one in Washington. However, Virginia does prohibit texting while driving. Had this case occurred in Washington, the result may have been different.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have died.

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King County troopers ticketing cell phone users
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The Tri City Herald.com reports that a 17-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was involved in a Benton City school bus accident on Tuesday around 2:30 pm. The motor vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Horne Road and Irene Avenue.

The teen may have internal injuries and he was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland for treatment. The teen was not wearing a seat belt.

High school students from Kiona-Benton City High School were on the school bus at the time of the accident and one apparently suffered a laceration to his face. The bus driver was not injured in the accident.

According to The Seattle Times, the teen was distracted and hit the bus when turned onto Horne Road from Irene Avenue.

Distracted driving is a very serious problem on our highways. 93% of drivers admit to distracted driving at one time or another including talking on a cell phone, eating or texting. Distracted driving can also include distractions outside of the vehicle or inside the vehicle. According to the NHTSA, 20% of injury car accidents involve distracted driving.

Distracted driving includes:

  • taking your eyes off the road
  • taking your hands off the steering wheel
  • taking your mind off of driving.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in Seattle car accidents and the family of those killed.

Related Posts:

What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?

School bus driver caught on camera texting and driving


Technology to curb distracted driving and avoid car accidents

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