Do you notice that there are less vehicles on the road (and therefore, there are way less motor vehicle accidents)? That is a good thing. Vehicle accidents are unavoidable. Many of us drive a vehicle every day. No matter how long you have been driving, these tips will help you be prepared for whatever happens on the open road.
Be prepared. Washington has some gorgeous weather, but it is also prone to floods, wind, ice and snow. Pack a bag that you can keep in your car that includes ready to eat food items, water, warm clothing, flares, an extra phone charger that is compatible with the outlets in your car, first aid kit, winter tire chains, and jumper cables.
Routinely check your vehicle’s brake lights, signal lights and visibility lights. Working and visible lights help other drivers know what actions you are taking and help you see what is ahead of you. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may be able to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to replace light bulbs yourself.
Wear a seatbelt and use correct child restraints. Washington state requires all adults and children to be properly restrained in a vehicle, by seatbelt or an appropriate restraint, such as a rear-facing seat. In 2017, there were 91 deaths caused by lack of restraint in a motor vehicle.
Put down your phone, even if it’s hands-free. Distracting driving causes an alarmingly high number of accidents, including fatalities (in 2017, there were 155 deaths caused by distracted driving in Washington State). The Washington State Patrol has a goal to bring that number down to zero by 2030. If you are distracted by electronics while driving, the minimum ticket is $136. Other distractions, such as eating, grooming or reading come with a minimum ticket of $99.
If you are over age 55, take a safe driving class offered by the Washington State Department of Licensing. The class is free and you can apply for an insurance discount after you have taken the course. Information about online and in-person classes is available on the Department of Licensing website.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then do not go it alone with the insurance company. You need an experienced and aggressive auto accident attorney on your side. If you have been involved in a car accident and are considering pursuing a claim for injuries, lost wages, and damages, then please contact us. Your first consultation is always free. We’ll evaluate your situation and make recommendations for your next step, and there is no fee unless we recover damages for you.