What To Know About Common Causes Of Car Crashes And Your Legal Rights
Car accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in the Seattle, Washington area. Sadly, statistics show an increase in accidents since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with 2021 being the deadliest year on record in Seattle since 2006. 2021 saw 540 fatal car crashes and another 2,411 serious auto accidents causing injury. Tragically, 118 of the fatal car accidents – over 20% – involved innocent pedestrians or bicyclists that were killed.
Some car accidents are just that – an accident or uncontrollable series of events. More often, though, car crashes can be connected to specific causes including:
- Speeding. Speeding is a factor in over 30% of fatal Washington car crashes, perhaps not surprisingly. Speed limits exist to manage traffic, keep the roads safe, and protect the safety of all drivers on the road. Exceeding the speed limit – often excessively – increases the risk of accidents and also the risk of catastrophic damage from a crash.
- Reckless Driving. For reasons still unclear, reckless driving has surged in Seattle and other areas since the start of the pandemic in 2020. The Washington State Patrol has issued 20% more reckless driving citations annually than they did in 2019. To drive recklessly is to disregard the safety of others when behind the wheel. Whether it involves speeding, failure to follow street signals, or dangerous driving maneuvers, reckless driving poses a risk not only to other drivers but to pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone in the vicinity.
- Distracted Driving. Car crashes caused by a distracted driver continue to rise year after year. Smartphones, sophisticated touch screen displays, and other distractions can cause a driver to take their eyes off the road and lose focus on what is in front of them. When this happens, the consequences can be disastrous.
- Alcohol Impairment. Drunk driving is one of the most obvious and well known causes of serious traffic accidents. Drunk drivers have gotten behind the wheel and caused devastating accidents for decades, and they continue to pose an ongoing threat. Despite all-out efforts from law enforcement to reduce the problem – some of which have been successful – drunk driving remains an issue and a frequent cause of car crashes.
- Drug Impairment. THC, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and others can reduce a driver’s responsiveness and cause serious accidents. Many of these crashes involve drivers getting high and recklessly getting behind the wheel. Some, meanwhile, involve drivers that experience some adverse reaction to a medication – or dangerous combination of medications – that can render them drowsy, disoriented, or otherwise impaired behind the wheel.
Any one of these factors involve some degree of negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. When negligence is involved, a driver can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for damages resulting from the crash.
Our Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You Get the Recovery You Deserve in Court after a Car Accident
Despite advancements in vehicle safety, car accidents happen every day and can have devastating effects on those involved. When a crash occurs, it is most often due to some degree of negligence by the at-fault driver. In these cases, negligent drivers bear a responsibility to make matters right and compensate their victims. Our experienced Seattle car accident attorneys at the Emerald Law Group will fight to hold the other driver responsible and obtain fair compensation from them and their insurer if necessary. To learn more, visit our firm online or call for a free confidential consultation at 206-823-0792.