Insurance Companies Say Distraction is Driving Increase in Fatal Accidents

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Posted on Nov 09, 2016

Seattle has some of the worst traffic congestion in the entire United States. Seattle has also seen a spike in traffic fatality rates in recent years. According to insurance companies, that traffic congestion, along with distracted driving, could explain the fatal accidents increase we have seen the past few years.

What are the insurance companies saying?

According to an article in The Seattle Times, the auto insurance industry reports that the number of traffic fatalities and injuries has skyrocketed. Robert Gordon, senior VP for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of American, blames traffic congestion.

While he blames traffic congestion, he does not believe that traffic is the real killer. He believes it is what people do when they are stuck in traffic — using their cell phone — that causes these accidents.

Does traffic congestion cause distracted driving?

A study by True Motion found that drivers often send a quick text, call a friend, check their email, or log onto social media while stuck in traffic. And many drivers do not see the risk in these behaviors.

They often believe that sending a text or using a phone is only risky when the car is in motion, but sending a text at a stop light or while stuck in traffic can distract you for up to 30 seconds, reports AAA.

How bad is Seattle's traffic congestion?

Seattle should take its problem with traffic congestion seriously, if traffic congestion is indeed a major factor in causing car accident fatalities and injuries.

Seattle ranks 4th worst in the entire United States in overall traffic congestion, according to TomTom’s Traffic Index. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York are the only cities in the United States with worse overall traffic congestion than Seattle.

Seattle has the second worst evening rush hour traffic congestion in the entire United States.

Does Seattle have a distracted driving problem?

Traffic fatalities nationwide increased by nine percent in the first half of 2016; in Seattle they increased by eight percent, so we are just below the national average.

Many of these deaths are due to distracted driving. In fact, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that at least 20 percent of traffic fatalities in King County from 2008 to 2012 were due to distracted driving. 

Distracted driving was also the fifth leading contributing cause of Washington State collisions in 2011, reports the Washington Department of Transportation.

What can I do if I was involved in a distracted driving crash?

It is pretty obvious that Seattle has a distracted driving problem. If you think distracted driving caused or contributed to your accident, you may be eligible to file a claim to recover injury compensation.

Call 425-399-7000 today to schedule your free consultation with a Seattle car accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.