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Accidents & Cell Phone Use

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.

Are You a Victim of the MultiCare-Good Samaritan Hospital Hepatitis C Exposure?
Our firm is actively taking on representation of clients who were patients at MultieCare-Good Samaritan Hospital and were exposed to Hepatitis C and perhaps other diseases. We are investigating the actions of MultiCare and its employees as well as the MultiCare system itself that led to this crisis occurring.

If you have information about this incident, or previous incidences of MultiCare employees misusing narcotic medications intended for patients, or if you have legal questions about this matter and your rights, our lawyers are available to assist you at 253-383-5388.
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  • "Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "

  • "Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "

  • "Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "

  • "Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "

  • "Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "

  • "Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "

  • "Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "

  • "Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "

  • "Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "

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  • "I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."

  • "John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."

  • "Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "

  • "Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "

  • "I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "

  • "Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "

  • "The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "

  • "Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "

  • "Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "

  • "We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "

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