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Spokane Law Blog

When people have a tendency to speed and drive abruptly

There are a number of examples of erratic behavior on the roadway, such as intoxicated driving and failing to switch lanes correctly. However, speeding is especially concerning and there are many other ways in which people drive abruptly. For example, drivers who have “lead foot” may slam on the accelerator and drive around without precision, and this can lead to a devastating collision. There are a lot of reasons why drivers exhibit this behavior on the road, whether they are rushing to get to work on time or they have a habit of making poor decisions behind the wheel.

Sadly, reckless drivers disregard the safety of those around them when they choose to surpass the speed limit and drive erratically. For example, a driver may participate in an unlawful street race or simply drive too fast because they think it makes them look cool. People who drive in such a manner are more likely to lose control of their vehicle and when they collide with another car, the outcome can be particularly devastating at high speeds.

How many lives are lost due to crashes caused by speeding?

There are all sorts of risk factors on the road, including weather conditions and the use of alcohol behind the wheel. That said, speeding is especially prevalent, and this behavior has caused many motor vehicle collisions. Sadly, some of the accidents caused by a driver’s decision to go over the speed limit have proved fatal, and it is imperative for drivers to be aware of just how many lives have been lost as a result of this reckless behavior.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that during 2016, speeding played a role in 27 percent of the deadly motor vehicle crashes that took place in the U.S. Moreover, over 10,100 lives were lost due to speeding over the course of the same year. Speeding is especially dangerous because when vehicles collide at high speeds, the accident is even more likely to result in the loss of lives. Sadly, speeding is far too common on roadways across the country, whether drivers intentionally go over the speed limit for one reason or another or accidentally drive too fast on one occasion.

Pedestrians: what to do after a car hits you

While everyone knows that it is a possibility that a car may hit you as you are crossing the intersection, no one really expects that it will happen to them. But what happens when it does?

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. According to a 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, there are pedestrian fatalities every two hours and injuries every eight minutes, due to car crashes. If you find yourself injured by a driver, here is what you do next:

Watching out for black ice

Some parts of the country can be especially dangerous to drive in during the winter months, such as northern states that see a lot of snow and ice. Many people realize how risky it can be to drive during inclement weather, such as a blizzard or ice storm that makes roads treacherous. What some may not be aware of, however, is that these weather risks can continue to pose a threat long after a storm, when conditions appear to have improved. For example, black ice can stay hidden on certain parts of the road and lead to a motor vehicle wreck.

While driving, black ice can be very difficult to see. Many drivers may go over a patch of black ice without knowing it and this can lead to an auto accident in different ways. For example, someone who tries to apply their brakes while going over black ice may lose control of their vehicle after spinning out. Or, a driver may be overly confident and traveling at very high speeds because they do not think there is any ice on the road, only to go over a patch of black ice and veer off the road or into another lane.

Auto accidents while on vacation

For many Americans, vacations are a time to relax and separate themselves from the daily stressors they have to face. Some people like to travel outside of the country, while others may visit a different part of the state they live in or fly to another side of the U.S. Unfortunately, traveling is not always easy and can present a variety of different hurdles, some of which are very serious. Aside from feeling tired or stressed out, some people may even find themselves in an auto accident for a variety of different reasons.

First of all, those who drive while they are on vacation may become involved in a wreck because they do not have any familiarity with the roads they are on. They may not be aware of certain aspects of driving in a particular neighborhood, become lost or drive distracted because they are trying to read a map or use their GPS. Outside of unfamiliarity with new roads, those who drive while they are on vacation may also be extremely tired and driver fatigue has played a role in a large number of motor vehicle accidents.

Understanding the "one bite rule"

A common response heard from dog owners in Spokane after their pets have been involved in attacks is that the animals never displayed any sort of aggressive tendencies before. This is likely done in hopes of earning leniency on both themselves and their dogs. One's personal history is often taken into account when determining punitive action for an offense; should it be any different with an animal? 

Many states say no. Indeed, a legal philosophy has been developed known as "the one bite rule." Essentially, it may absolve a dog owner of liability for an attack if their dog had never before been aggressive towards a person. According to the Legal Information Institute, in cases involving the one bite rule, the attack victim often bears the burden of proving that the dog that bit them was prone to attacks, and that the owner should have known this. 

Pulled over by the police? A new app can covertly record it

If you are pulled over by a police officer, you may want to record the interaction to document what happens and what is said. Many times, there is mis-communication between what the officer asks and the explanation that is given. Once this happens, how are you supposed to prove what was really said or how the conversation veered off course if there is not an audio or video recording?

If you want to record your traffic stop, technology is here for you. There is a new app for iPhone users that uses Siri to covertly make a recording of the stop. The app is designed to run a series of actions as well as record the stop. Once the recording has stopped, the app will automatically archive the footage. To use this app, you will need to download the add-on called "Police" that is part of the Shortcuts app that is now included with iOS 12.

Traffic accidents and PTSD

Traffic accidents have many consequences and destroy lives on a daily basis. Sometimes a crash results in a fatality, while other accidents may not claim any lives but do leave victims with permanent injuries that will never let them enjoy life in the same way again. Moreover, motor vehicle collisions can have other consequences which may be harder for other people to detect. The emotional toll of a wreck can be staggering, resulting in negative emotions such as high levels of anxiety, depression and anger. Moreover, some people may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When some people hear about PTSD, they immediately picture a veteran who is struggling with mental trauma following upsetting experiences during a war. However, people can develop PTSD for many other reasons, including motor vehicle wrecks. Someone may suffer from flashbacks or have so much mental trauma that they are not ever able to drive again. These accidents can disrupt a victim’s sleep schedule and affect their relationships with loved ones because of serious mental trauma.

The driving dangers of being a parent

If you think that cell phone use is the most distracting thing while driving, think again. Studies show that driving with kids in the car is much more distracting than using a phone, and if you are a parent in Washington this may come as no surprise. 

According to Medical Daily, driving with kids is 12 times riskier than talking on a mobile device. In fact, distractions related to children can take a parent's eyes off the road for an average of one-fifth the drive time on the road. Some of the common distractions include:

  • Glancing in the rearview mirror
  • Turning around to look in the back seat
  • Handing back food, a drink or a toy
  • Picking something the kid dropped or threw off the floor 
  • Fiddling with the radio or DVD player
  • Soothing a crying baby

How can accidents involving deer be avoided?

From distracted driving to accidents caused by the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, there are a plethora of reasons why motor vehicle crashes happen. There are many other risk factors to be aware of, some of which may be less common but equally concerning. For example, some parts of the country see an increase in the number of deer that are on the roads during the fall, and this can be especially concerning with respect to motor vehicle accidents. As a result, drivers should do what they can to avoid colliding with a deer.

According to the State of Michigan, almost 50,000 auto collisions with deer are reported each year in the state. Information published on their site states that it is especially important to be aware of deer while driving at dusk and dawn and that strategies such as flashing your headlights or honking your horn may not work as a deterrence. While driving, you should watch out for signs that indicate deer may be present and you should be aware that if you see one deer, it is very likely that more deer are nearby. Moreover, you should always be sober and alert while driving.

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Spokane, WA 99205

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