The Ellensburg Daily Record reported on four separate car accidents over the past weekend in which eight people were injured. Although the weather was nice, there was a common theme to all four of the car accidents: driver error.
Following Too Closely
Two of the accidents were caused by drivers who were following too closely. Following too closely, sometimes also called “tailgating” is a common cause of rear-end car accidents. Often the root cause is that the driver is distracted and not paying attention to prevailing traffic conditions such as road construction, a yellow light, slowing traffic or anticipating events that are happening in the road ahead.
Usually, in a rear-end car accident, the following driver is presumed at fault. In this case, the two drivers — Sandra R. Saga of Lynnwood and James J. Blowers of Snohomish — were both cited with RCW 46.61.145:
Washington state motor vehicle code states that a driver shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, , having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
Another of the accidents was caused when a driver, Monique B. Koth of Seattle, failed to yield at an intersection as she attempted to make a left hand turn onto Liberty Road from U.S. Highway 97. Koth was cited in the accident. When you are a driver who intends to make a left turn at an intersection, the law requires that you yield the right of way to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction if the vehicle is close enough as to constitute an immediate hazard.
The fourth accident that the Ellensburg Daily Record wrote about was caused when a driver fell asleep at the wheel, overcorrected and, in doing so, caused her vehicle to roll. In this accident, Peggy Sue Hamilton was cited for second-degree negligent driving.
Studies have shown that driving while tired can contribute to car accidents in much the same way as driving under the influence. Driving while drowsy puts everyone at risk.
These four car accidents as reported are but a microcosm of the car accidents that happen daily on our highways. Slowing down, paying attention and making sure that one is not impaired by fatigue or alcohol can prevent accidents.
Preventing Car Accidents
To recap, to prevent a car accident, one should:
- Stay attentive and constantly look around.
- Check your blind spots before changing lanes
- Be extra careful at intersections even if you have the green light
- Slow down and over when emergency vehicles are flashing their lights or if you hear a siren
- Use your turn signal when changing lanes
- Follow the speed limit
- Do not drink and drive
- Do not drive drowsy
- Follow at a safe distance
- Slow down on turns and on-and-off ramps
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 caused by the negligent of other drivers and the family of those who have been killed.