Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Richard McKinney Comments on Cellphone and Texting While Driving Study in Washington

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Car accident attorney McKinney of the Law Offices of Richard McKinney says he hopes the study serves as a reminder to all motorists about their responsibilities while driving and the consequences of their actions.

I hope that studies like the one reported by the Times serve as a reminder to drivers about their responsibilities. Texting while driving – just like drinking and driving – is unacceptable.

Seattle texting while driving accident lawyer Richard McKinney today said motorists should avoid dangerous behavior such as using cellphones while driving, especially in light of a recent study in Washington that revealed the extent of cellphone usage behind the wheel.

According to the Seattle Times (Study finds drivers in state busy on cellphones, texting, Sept. 8), one in 12 drivers in six major counties were found to be using cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. Nearly half of those drivers using cellphones were texting, the Times reported.

“Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the cellphone age,” said McKinney, who represents victims of negligence and families who lost loved ones in accidents. “I hope that studies like the one reported by the Times serve as a reminder to drivers about their responsibilities. Texting while driving – just like drinking and driving – is unacceptable. People who cause accidents because of their bad choices should be held accountable.”

According to the Times, Beth Ebel, the study’s principal investigator and a trauma doctor in the Injury Prevention and Research Center in Harborview Medical Center, texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distractions because “your eyes are off the road and your brain is also off the road.”

Personal injury lawyer McKinney said he recommends that drivers turn off their cellphones or even leave them out of reach to avoid the temptation of using the device while driving. He noted that hand-held phone use is illegal in Washington, which means drivers are not only putting everyone on the road at risk but they are breaking the law.

“If you absolutely need to send or respond to a text message while driving, find a safe place to pull over and then do your texting,” he said. “Keep in mind that accidents in Seattle happen fast and can have grave consequences.”

According to the Times, the study – the first of its kind – involved investigators randomly observing the behavior of 7.800 drivers at intersections in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Spokane, Yakima and Whatcom counties. They recorded 8.1 percent drivers were using electronic devices, and nearly half of those drivers were texting.

According to McKinney’s website,, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. His site states that more than 40 percent of teenagers say they’ve been in a car while the driver was texting, according to the Pew Research Center.

“This type of study, which reveals the extent of texting while driving in Washington, might spur education campaigns that can change behaviors,” McKinney said. “Furthermore, parents might read about this study and talk to their teenagers about the consequences of using cellphones while driving. Car accident injuries and fatalities are devastating. Personal injury attorneys can help victims pursue compensation and closure and send a message that reckless behavior behind the wheel will not be tolerated.

About the Law Offices of Richard McKinney

An experienced personal injury attorney in Seattle, Richard McKinney has practiced law for more than 40 years, handling a range of serious injury cases. His law firm’s practice areas include car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as construction, maritime and slip and fall accidents and other personal injury cases. Attorney McKinney personally oversees all cases and strives to give each client personalized and individual attention.

Richard McKinney graduated at the top of his class at Stanford Law School, where he served on Stanford Law Review. Previously in college, he was Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude at the University of Washington. He also received academic honors at the University of Virginia where he completed part of his college curriculum.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, call (800) 325-0920 or complete the online contact form. Attorney McKinney works on a contingency fee basis, which means clients pay no attorney fees unless a recovery is made in the case.

The Law Offices of Richard McKinney is located at 1833 N. 105th Street, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98133.

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