[A]s this report indicates, drivers continue to engage in careless driving on our state’s roadways and expose others to the risk of auto accidents.
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 22, 2011
Despite Washington having some of the toughest traffic safety laws in the country, the recent “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report” shows that the risk of being involved in an auto accident remains high in several of the state’s cities, Washington injury attorney Dean Brett said this week.
Four Washington cities appeared in the insurance company’s latest “Best Drivers Report,” which ranks 200 cities in terms of car collision frequency by using insurance claims data. Three cities – Seattle (No. 147), Spokane (40) and Tacoma (141) – dropped in the report’s rankings. The fourth city, Vancouver, retained the same No. 64 ranking it had in the 2010 report.
Based on the report, the average driver in those four Washington cities will experience an auto collision every 9.1 years, which is slightly more often than the national average of 10 years and significantly more frequent than the city which topped the list, Fort Collins, Colorado, where the rate is an accident every 14 years.
“Our legislature has been progressive in passing laws that are aimed at preventing different types of reckless driving, such as some of the country’s strongest anti-distracted driving laws and laws that have created harsh criminal consequences for drunk driving,” said Brett of the Washington personal injury law firm, Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers.
Brett pointed out that, under Washington law, the use of handheld cell phones and texting devices while driving is a primary traffic offense. He also noted that the state has laws that increase penalties for drivers arrested with high blood alcohol content (0.15), require ignition interlock devices for all DUI convictions and suspend driver’s licenses for even first-time DUI offenders.
“However, as this report indicates, drivers continue to engage in careless driving on our state’s roadways and expose others to the risk of auto accidents,” Brett said. “That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know what to do if an accident occurs in order to protect your right to being fully compensated for any vehicle damage and bodily injury you may suffer.”
If emergency medical treatment is not required, Brett said that motorists can take several steps at an accident scene that will help to establish their claim for compensation, which can include funds for auto damage, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and, in some cases, punitive damages. These steps include:
- Collecting information from all drivers involved in the collision, including their driver’s license number, address, phone number and insurance card information.
- Getting contact information for all eyewitnesses of the accident as well as a brief summary of what they saw and heard.
- Using a camera or cell phone to take photos of the accident scene, including skid marks, vehicle damage and debris.
- Getting the name of the police officer on the scene and the accident report number.
Even if immediate medical attention isn’t needed, Brett said an accident victim must see a physician as soon as possible to check for internal or soft tissue injuries that may not be immediately apparent. He suggests a follow-up doctor’s visit within a week of the accident.
“It’s possible that an insurance company representative will contact you within days – maybe even with hours – of the accident,” Brett said. “Our law firm has always strongly advised against speaking with an insurance company until you have first consulted with an experienced Washington car accident attorney.
“You never know when a crash will happen,” the Washington injury lawyer said, “but if one does occur, you need to protect yourself.”
About Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers
Brett Murphy – Washington’s Injury Lawyers is a Washington personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, Mt. Vernon and Vancouver, Washington. The firm represents car accident victims, including those injured in DUI/DWI accidents, and other personal injury victims throughout the state of Washington. The firm’s practice areas also include motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, construction accidents, railroad collisions and aviation crashes. For more information, call the firm at (800) 925-1875 or use its online contact form.