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Breaking Bad Habits: How Drivers in Washington State Can Be Safer

One woman is driving car and eating food.

Many car accidents in Washington State occur due to preventable mistakes made by drivers. Whether it's motorists not paying attention or going too fast, such dangerous driving habits often wreak havoc on Washington's roads and result in serious collisions.

So, what can drivers do to make our roads safer? AAA has several suggestions on how to break bad driving habits. "Bad driving habits may be universal, but they are not irreversible," the driver advocacy organization says. "Just a few adjustments can change your behavior."

What are some of the most dangerous driving habits?

Each year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts a survey concerning the most dangerous driving habits in the country. Recently, the foundation released the results of its 2022 survey.

More than 2,500 drivers nationwide participated in the anonymous survey. Known as the "Traffic Safety Culture Index," the survey measures driver's attitudes about driving as well as their personal driving habits.

The results might surprise some. Participants in the nationwide survey admitted to engaging in some of the most dangerous driving habits within the past 30 days, including:

  • Texting while driving or other forms of distracted driving – 15 percent.
  • Driving while extremely tired – 9 percent.
  • Failing to stop for a red light –8 percent.
  • Excessive speeding – 7 percent.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol – 3 percent.

What are some of the worst driving habits in Washington State?

According to the most recent car accident fatality data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Washington State set a decade-high record in 2021 (the year with the most recent data available) in three categories:

  • Drunk driving fatalities – 262 deaths in Washington State in 2021.
  • Speeding-related fatalities – 206 deaths.
  • Deaths involving vehicle passengers or drivers not wearing a seatbelt – 149 deaths.

Safe driving tips

Fortunately, there are steps drivers can take to break bad driving habits. Such steps include:

  • Turn off your cellphone while driving or set it to "do not disturb" mode.
  • Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights.
  • If you often speed on highways, set your cruise control at a reasonable speed.
  • If you plan to drink alcohol, have a plan for getting home, whether it's a designated driver, rideshare service, taxi, or public transportation.
  • When other drivers get aggressive, don't react. Stay calm, and don't engage with them.
  • If you're driving long distances at night, take a break every two hours to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.

Seeking legal help after a car accident

Car accident injury claims in Washington State often turn into complicated legal cases. And if you don't have an experienced attorney on your side, you're at a disadvantage when dealing with the insurance company. Remember, according to the insurance industry's own research, those who hire a car accident lawyer typically receive larger financial recoveries than those who don't. This is because lawyers are familiar with the legal process, understand how to negotiate with insurance companies and know how to value a claim accurately.

In Washington State, the rules and regulations surrounding car accident claims can be difficult to navigate without legal guidance. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Additionally, a lawyer can help manage the deadlines and documentation required in these cases. Washington State has specific time limits for filing a claim, and missing these deadlines can jeopardize your case.

Injured in a crash? Count on Colin Scott

If you or a loved one was injured in a Southwest Washington car accident, Attorney Colin Scott and the rest of our legal team can help you every step of the way. We know how to build strong legal cases and fight for the maximum compensation our clients deserve. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we recovery money in your case.

Get a law firm with a passion for justice. Contact us and schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you. Schedule an appointment at our Vancouver, Washington office today. We handle legal cases throughout Southwest Washington.

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