Need For Speed Highlights Need For Caution

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Seattle law enforcement officials have shown an increased willingness to crack down on drivers who go beyond applicable speed limits. This, when combined with the inherent personal injury danger posed by such an action, has led the Bernard Law Group to offer tips geared toward reducing speed and ensuring safety.

...those few miles per hour dramatically increase the risk of an accident without actually saving you more than a few seconds of driving time.

Speeding is a very real threat on roadways throughout Seattle and the entirety of Washington. Law enforcement officials have been out in earnest to crack down on this behavior, but it’s hard for the police to keep up.

That’s the takeaway in a recent report from KING 5 News. The February 17 article, entitled “Seattle full of speeders and tailgaters, police say,” details the efforts of the newly reactivated Aggressive Driver Response Team, which has had its hands full dealing with growing numbers of speeding drivers.

This isn’t an issue to take lightly. That same article cites the NHTSA’s finding that one in three collisions are the result of speeding and other actions that could fall under the banner of aggressive driving.

That’s why the Bernard Law Group has decided to step in. Kirk Bernard, a Seattle community member and practicing personal injury lawyer for over three decades, has dedicated his life to helping citizens recoup from the serious effects of auto accidents and other collisions, but he wants to keep such incidents from ever happening in the first place.

“Most of us have been in that situation where the speed limit is 55 and we press our luck up to 59, 60, basically whatever we think we can get away with,” said Mr. Bernard from his office in South Lake Union. “Unfortunately, those few miles per hour dramatically increase the risk of an accident without actually saving you more than a few seconds of driving time. We want people to understand that a few simple changes to their behavior can drastically improve safety while still getting them to their destinations on time.”

With that in mind, the Bernard Law Group has put together some tips that citizens of Seattle and Washington can enact to reduce speed.

•Break The Cycle- When traffic draws to a standstill, the temptation is to hit the gas the moment the vehicle in front of you starts to move. However, this is likely to force you to slam the brakes seconds later when traffic grinds to a halt. anew.

Instead, play a little game: keep speed at a level low enough that the brakes don’t need to be tapped when vehicles up ahead begin to stop. This may leave more space than usual between the coasting automobile and upcoming vehicles, but by the time the line of traffic starts moving, a car that kept its speed in check can simply continue to coast. Meanwhile, a driver who floored the accelerator will be forced to brake every few seconds.

If everyone drove this way rather than got into the stop-and-go mindset created by speeding, traffic jams would become exceedingly rare. Travel time remains the same, gas is saved, and road rage is dissipated.

•Patience Is A Virtue- This easy step is rather hard for some people to put into practice. Rather than head out the door with a bagel in one hand, a briefcase in the other, and ten minutes to make it to the office, drivers should give themselves plenty of time to arrive at their destinations. That way, one won’t have to speed just to make it somewhere.

•Cyclists Aren’t Off Limits to Criticism- Last October, the Seattle Times featured an article called “Police speed trap snaring bicyclists, too,” and that headline should speak for itself. Cyclists who exceed speed limits, particularly in school zones, could be on the receiving end of tickets due to the personal injury hazard created.

Persons on bikes must watch their speed, staying below 20 miles per hour on all but dedicated bike trails. Speed should be reduced even more dramatically when pedestrians are in the vicinity.

•Let A Limit Be A Limit- They are called ‘Speed Limits’ rather than ‘Speed Starting Points’ for a reason. A speed limit must be looked at as the absolute utmost speed that a vehicle can go. Rather than test yourself and any officers of the law by going 2, 5, or 10-plus mph above the limit, treat the posted speed as a legitimate limit.

Kirk Bernard has been protecting the rights of Washington personal injury victims for 30 years, achieving landmark court victories and settlements in the process. The Bernard Law Group provides legal representation for those injured in bicycle collisions, workplace accidents, medical malpractice situations, defective drug incidents, premises liability cases, and more. Persons interested in a free consultation should visit the Bernard Law Group now to learn more.

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Megan Castello
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