Stranded on the side of the highway with a blown tire and cars ripping past is a nightmare scenario for many people, and for good reason. Every year people are killed on the roadside while trying to change tires.
In Tacoma, a woman who was distracted by her cellphone allegedly struck and killed a man while he was changing a tire on I-5. Police say the crash happened in the northbound lane of the I-5 collector-distributor section at South 38th Street around 8:40 a.m. on May 10, 2021.
According to a local news report, the man died at the scene of the accident. The woman who hit him is now being charged with vehicular homicide after she admitted she was checking Facebook on her cellphone at the time of the crash.
Washington state has some of the strictest distracted driving laws in the country, but there will always be drivers who throw caution into the wind and put themselves and everyone else on the road in danger. A recent study even found that Washington state has some of the most distracted drivers around — and that the state is taking great strides toward changing the situation.
Distracted driving in Washington state
A recent MyCarInsurance123 study ranked Washington as the state with the 4th most distracted drivers in the U.S. In 2018, distracted driving was a factor in nearly 15% of all fatal crashes in the state. The only other factor that contributed more often to deadly crashes was speeding.
Soon after the ranking was released, Washington rolled out a new set of strict anti-distracted driving laws with tough penalties. In Washington, you can only use a cellphone while driving if it is a hands-free device, you're parked outside of the flow of traffic, or you are contacting emergency services. You cannot use your cellphone while stopped in traffic.
The new laws seemed to be working. There was a 25% reduction in fatal accidents involving distracted drivers in its first year, but progress may have been interrupted by COVID-19. While distracted driving fatalities continue to drop, the number of distracted drivers observed on Washington streets shot up in 2020.
It appears many Americans used the empty streets provided by pandemic lockdowns to drive recklessly. Across the U.S., the number of citations issued for drivers going above 100 mph spiked. In Washington, the statewide distracted driver rate increased from about 7% of drivers to 9.5%.
Send distracted drivers a message that's loud and clear
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek financial compensation for all your losses. This can include compensation to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost income, your pain and suffering, and any other compensable damages you suffered as a result of the crash.
At Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC, attorney Zach Herschensohn has been representing accident victims in Kent and the Seattle Metro area for years. Known for his strong work ethic, high energy, and professionalism, Attorney Herschensohn can protect your legal rights and fight for the money you're entitled to.
Don't waste your time and energy arguing with an insurance company about compensation. Let an experienced car accident lawyer deal with them instead so you can focus on moving forward from your injury.
Contact us today at our office in Kent, WA for a free consultation.