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Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P.

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where wrongs are made right

253.250.4516
866.454.RHHK

Office Location

4701 S 19th St #300,
Tacoma, WA 98405

Understanding the Link Between Accidents and Cell Phone Use

Tacoma attorneys fight for parties harmed when drivers talk or text

As a leading personal injury law firm in the state of Washington, Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. supports efforts to minimize cell phone use by drivers. Since 1959, we’ve been helping victims of auto accidents throughout the state. In recent years, we’ve seen the terrible consequences of cell phone use behind the wheel of passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

What is the law on cell phone use by drivers in Washington?

Studies have shown that the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. In other words, using a cellular phone while driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Researchers have also calculated that sending or receiving a text message takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. Imagine driving blindfolded at 55 miles per hour for the length of a football field.

To help prevent distracted driver accidents, Washington has banned the use of handheld mobile phones for all drivers. Novice drivers are not permitted to use even hands-free devices. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers.

Cell phone use while driving especially dangerous for teens

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cell phone use is still prevalent among drivers despite states’ attempts to limit it. The NHTSA estimates that during daylight hours, approximately 660,000 American drivers are using cell phones or manipulating other handheld devices. Teen drivers seem to have the most disconcerting smart phone habits:

  • One-quarter of teen drivers respond to one or more text messages every time they drive.
  • An estimated 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents report engaging in multi-message text conversations while driving.

This behavior often has terrible consequences. Teen drivers already must cope with a number of risk factors, including:

  • Poor hazard detection
  • Low risk perception
  • Impulsive risk-taking
  • Not wearing seatbelts
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Boisterous passengers

Adding cell phones to that mix is a recipe for disaster: cellular phone use is reportedly the source of distraction for 21 percent of distracted teen drivers involved in fatal car accidents.

Ask our Tacoma car accident attorneys about cell phone-related accidents in Washington

If another driver’s cell phone use caused an accident in which you or a loved one was harmed, you have a right to full compensation. The skilled trial lawyers at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. can help you hold that driver accountable. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, call us at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.