Top Causes of Car Accidents: What to Watch for While Driving

Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Seattle Washington

No matter how defensively you drive, reckless drivers are all around you. In a matter of seconds, your life can change forever due to a distracted, aggressive, or drunk driver. Serious injuries from car accidents often result in expensive medical care and lost wages. When someone doesn’t share the road or fails to drive in a responsible manner, causing injury to you or your loved ones, contact a personal injury lawyer without delay.

Top Causes of Car Accidents

Despite numerous public safety campaigns against drunk driving, the problem continues to exist. Advances in smartphone technology are creating opportunities for distracted driving. And, anger continues to plaque drivers as they lead stressful lives with little to no free time. As long as drivers make poor choices when getting behind the wheel, your life is at risk.

Here are the top causes of car accidents, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Distracted Driving

A survey by the foundation found that 78 percent of drivers believe texting while driving is a significant danger to other drivers. Yet, nearly 35 percent of those surveyed admitted to texting or sending an email from behind the wheel. Fifty-eight percent of survey participants believe talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, with 49 percent admitting to the behavior.

Additional research from the AAA Foundation discovered that a person talking on a cell phone while driving is up to four times more likely to crash. Those who text are up to eight times more likely to crash.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that at 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds—the length of a football field. The thought that sending a text “only takes a second,” can result in a lifetime of medical care for another driver.

Distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phones. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is a distraction. Applying makeup, changing the music station, or reaching for an object all count as distracted driving. The CDC cites three main categories of distraction:

  • Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving

What makes texting and driving so dangerous is that the action involves all three categories of distraction, according to the CDC.

Aggressive Driving

When a driver acts in a negligent way that is deliberate and with no regard for safety, their behavior constitutes aggressive driving. As the demands of our personal and work lives demand more, our stress levels rise. In turn, aggressive driving escalates on our nation’s highways, especially during rush hour. The time pressure involved with getting to work or returning home carries over into our driving behaviors. Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Cutting in front of another driver then slowing down
  • Running red lights
  • Blocking cars that are attempting to pass or change lanes
  • Speeding in heavy traffic

Aggressive driving can quickly escalate to road rage. Signs of road rage include:

  • Running another car off the road
  • Throwing objects at another vehicle
  • Ramming or sideswiping another vehicle

A recent AAA Foundation survey reports that 87 percent of participants admitted to aggressive driving or road rage behavior at least once during the previous year.

Drug Impaired Driving

The nation’s opioid crisis and the legalization of marijuana in several states are causes of concern for driver safety. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites both issues as contributing factors to the latest drug-impaired driving numbers. The GHSA reports that, in 2016, the most recent data available, 50.5 percent of drug-positive drivers tested positive for two or more drugs.

More than 100 people die every day in the United States due to opioid addiction or overdose. As standards for establishing legal limits for marijuana vary throughout the nation, marijuana is only legal in Florida for medical use. Driving under the influence of the drug is dangerous, no matter whether the driver has a medical prescription or not. Marijuana for recreational use is legal in Washington state, however, the same rules apply—smoking the drug and driving do not mix.

Drunk Driving

The issue of drinking and driving never goes away. Why do people choose to drink and drive? The answers from a recent survey provide some insight into this dangerous decision:

  • Most people believe they can drive after a few drinks with no problem; the alcohol gives them a false sense of feeling invincible.
  • Their home isn’t far away and they can drive the short distance safely.
  • They think they won’t get caught.

Drunk drivers continue to take risks, placing other drivers in danger of serious injuries. If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries due to the negligent behavior of another driver, contact the Boohoff Law Firm today.

Call the Boohoff Law Firm if an Auto Accident Injures You

At the Boohoff Law Firm, we believe no one should suffer physically, financially, and emotionally due to the reckless behavior of another driver. While we all take a risk when we get behind the wheel, those who choose to do so after drug or alcohol use are making a dangerous choice. Other dangerous choices include sending and receiving texts and deliberately driving in an aggressive manner.

A driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. When someone crashes into your vehicle, you may face serious injuries that result in extensive medical bills. Let our legal team fight for justice for you. To schedule a free evaluation of your case, call (877) 999-9999 or contact us online.

Our attorneys can come to you. If you are unable to visit one of our offices due to your injuries, we can visit you in the hospital or in your home. Don’t delay—the sooner we review your case, the sooner we can decide upon the best course of action for you.

Teens Safe Cars: The Best Vehicles for Protecting Your Teen

Teen Car Accident Lawyer in Seattle Washington

Obtaining your driver’s license is one of life’s important milestones. As a teen, your license is your ticket to more independence and additionally, more responsibility. While parents wish to protect their children from harm no matter their age, letting them get behind the wheel alone is hard. The good news is there are safe cars on the market that protect teens, in a variety of price ranges and make/model choices.

What Defines Safety in Cars for Teens

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted extensive research into which cars are best for teen drivers. The institute based their findings upon the four following safety principles:

  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. This means a four or five-star rating, based upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety rating guidelines.
  • Big, heavy vehicles are best. Not only do they protect teens in the event of a crash, but studies also show that teens are less likely to crash them in the first place.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is imperative. This feature helps teens maintain control on curves and slippery roads.
  • Stay away from vehicles with horsepower. Powerful engines are simply too tempting for teens to try out, placing themselves at greater risk for a crash.

Your teen may want a cuter, more attractive car like that of a mini car. Safety must overrule looks when it comes to a vehicle for your teen. While the IIHS does not include mini cars on their list of recommended vehicles, they do include small and midsize SUVs.

In addition to the safety list above, the IIHS encourages parents to research outstanding recalls for any used vehicle they intend to purchase. This is easily done using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Best Teen Vehicle Choices for Price Ranges of $20,000 and Less

The IIHS list of best vehicle choices for price ranges of $20,000 and under uses Kelley Blue Book values from September of 2018. The vehicles earned favorable ratings from the IIHS and four to five stars from the NHTSA. The list includes the following vehicles:

Midsize Category

  • Volkswagen Passat, 2013 and newer
  • Volvo S60, 2011 and newer
  • Ford Fusion, 2013 and newer
  • Subaru Legacy, 2013 and newer
  • Honda Accord Coupe, 2013 and newer

Large Cars

  • Volvo S80, 2007 and newer
  • Ford Taurus, 2013 and newer
  • Chevrolet Impala, 2015 and newer
  • Infiniti M37/Q70, 2013 and newer
  • Toyota Avalon, 2015 and newer

Small SUVs

  • Mazda CX-5, 2014 and newer
  • Fiat 500X, 2016 and newer
  • Nissan Rogue, 2014 and newer
  • Subaru Forrester, 2014 and newer
  • Buick Encore, 2015 and newer

Small Pick Up Truck

  • Toyota Tacoma Access cab, 2016 or newer

Large Pick-Up Truck

  • Toyota Tundra, double cab, 2014 or newer

The IIHS also lists vehicles receiving a good rating that lists for under $10,000. This list is available on the IIHS website.

The Latest in Teen Driving Technology

Car manufacturers are developing new ways for parents to supervise their teen drivers without having to ride with them. Ford developed the MyKey system that enforces good driving habits such as buckling up. The “Belt-Minder” chimes and will mute car speakers until your teen buckles up. Parents of teens driving certain model Chevrolets can access in-car driving reports. These reports help parents better monitor their teen’s driving habits so that they can provide guidance for safer driving habits.

If a newer model car with the latest technology isn’t financially feasible, consider downloading a safe driving app. While smartphones and teen driving are a dangerous combination, certain apps can serve as a safeguard against dangers such as texting and driving.

The Life360 app has many features that appeal to parents. These features include location tracking, speed monitoring and text alerts for hard braking, rapid acceleration, and crashes. The app also has a driver safety mode feature and 27/7 driver care support. The Life360 app is available for both Android and iOS phones.

When Another Driver Crashes Into Your Teen

No amount of protection or technology can prevent a reckless driver from crashing into your teen’s vehicle. While your teen may drive defensively and in the safest car possible, a negligent driver speeding, driving impaired, or distracted can cause your teen serious harm.

Dangerous drivers are all around us and represent all ages, from teens to seniors. A crash is a scary moment for anyone, especially for someone who is new to driving. A serious crash can result in injuries ranging from broken bones to serious head trauma.

Having an injured teen results in medical bills, emotional stress, and missed time from work. Your teen may need future surgeries and therapies moving forward. Holding the dangerous driver accountable for their actions requires the skills of a personal injury lawyer.

Call the Boohoff Law Firm After an Auto Accident Involving a Teen Driver

Most of us remember the feelings of freedom we experienced as teens when we received our driver’s license. Now, many of us our parents and we worry when our teens get behind the wheel. Fortunately, research like that of IIHS help us decide on the right car and new technologies provide opportunities for peace-of-mind.

Unfortunately, other drivers aren’t as proactive or cautious when it comes to driving. Their haste to get one car ahead, their decision to drink and drive, and their bad habits of texting while driving put all of us at risk.

At the Boohoff Law Firm, we believe drivers of all ages should share the road. Teaching new drivers the proper skills is essential for developing good drivers. When another driver fails to obey laws and causes serious harm to your teen driver, it’s time to reach out to our highly experienced legal team.

If your teen was seriously injured in a crash that was no fault of their own, or if another teen driver injured you, call us at (877) 999-9999 or contact us online.

It’s time to hold dangerous drivers accountable for their actions. Let us help you by scheduling your free consultation today.

Summertime Car Accidents—Increased Activity and Travel Require Extra Caution

Car Accident Lawyer in Seattle Washington

The sun is shining, school is out, and vacations loom ahead. Summertime is a time for enjoying the outdoors and for road trips with family. Increased activity on city streets and highways, however, can lead to summertime car accidents. Don’t ruin your summer fun by spending your vacation in the hospital. Use the following tips for driving defensively this summer:

Check Your Tires

As AAA points out, your tires are the only part of your car that touches the ground. Tires that are cracking, bulging, and that have breaks in the actual tread are a danger on hot pavement. At highway speeds, tires in this condition are at risk for a blowout. When this occurs, you can quickly lose control of your car.

Before any road trip, check your tires for tread depth, inflation, and overall condition. AAA recommends inflating your tires to manufacturers specifications, located on the inside of the door jamb, not the number on the tire.

Avoid Driving Drowsy

There are only so many hours in your vacation time so the need to make good time while driving appeals to many travelers. Driving without rest is dangerous. Consider the following statistics from AAA:

  • Missing just two to three hours of sleep in a 24 hour period can quadruple a driver’s crash risk
  • A driver who has less than 5 hours of sleep during a 24 hour period has crash risks similar to those of a drunk driver.

Symptoms of a drowsy driver include drifting between lanes and missing exits. To avoid driving while drowsy, take breaks from the road and take turns driving with other passengers.

Teen Drivers

When school is out, teen drivers take to the roadways, usually with a carload of their friends. Their inexperience along with congested highways filled with vacation traffic results in crashes that are sometimes deadly. The summertime problem of teen drivers and crashes is what AAA calls “The 100 Deadliest Days,” and includes the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Speeding and nighttime driving are two of the contributing factors cited by AAA. The organization estimates an average of 10 people killed a day during 2016 due to crashes involving teenagers—a 14 percent increase over 2015. Speaking with teens about the importance of safe driving habits is the best way of preventing crashes, according to AAA.

Construction Zones

If traveling to your vacation destination involves a major highway, chances are you will encounter a construction zone. Summertime is a popular time for highway projects due to the warmer weather.

The U.S Federal Highway Administration shares the following statistics regarding construction zone crashes within the past five years:

  • 4,400 people killed—85 percent of which were drivers or passengers
  • 200,000 people injured
  • Rear-end crashes from drivers failing to stop in time are the most common type of crash.
  • A loaded 80,000 lb tractor trailer requires almost 50 percent more stopping time than a car.

The administration encourages drivers to stay alert, merge into the correct lane, and to slow down. Speeding, distracted, and even drunk drivers place not only other drivers at risk, but also the construction workers at risk for death or serious injury.

Watch for Bicycles and Motorcycles

Summertime provides great opportunities for bicyclists and motorcyclists to enjoy the open road. While both have the same rights as you when it comes to sharing the road, crash injuries are often worse for them. The lack of protection from striking the side of your vehicle or the pavement can result in serious trauma to their body.

Whether the law requires a helmet for bicycles or motorcycles depends upon the state. Most states do have helmet laws for minors when it comes to bicycles, but not for adults. State laws can vary for motorcycles also, however research shows that helmets provide important protection in the event of a crash.

In addition to bicycles and motorcycles, summer drivers must watch for pedestrians. Enjoying the summer sunshine for some may mean going for a walk or a jog. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following actions for driving defensively in high pedestrian areas this summer:

  • Watch for pedestrians everywhere. Don’t focus solely on crosswalks as a pedestrian may step out in front of you any time, anywhere.
  • Never try to pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. The very reason they stopped can create danger for you and a pedestrian if you try to pass.

Be Proactive for a Safe Summer

These tips provide helpful advice for safely enjoying your summer. The care you exercise while traveling, with your car maintenance, in talking with your teen, and in staying alert in traffic, can save your life and the life of those around you. When other drivers fail to take the same care, they can ruin not only your summer, but possibly the rest of your life. If a reckless and negligent driver caused you serious harm, seek justice by contacting a personal injury lawyer right away.

Call the Boohoff Law Firm if a Car Crash Injured You

Our legal team believes those who drive with careless disregard for other drivers must be held accountable for their actions. A serious injury as the result of a car crash may cause you severe physical, financial, and emotional stress.

Summertime is a time for vacations, outdoor exercise, and spending time with friends and family. If you are seriously injured due to a negligent driver, no matter what season, call us at (877) 999-9999 or contact us to schedule a free evaluation for your case.

Don’t let a distracted, drunk, or aggressive driver ruin your summer or your future. The sooner we can review your case, the sooner we can decide upon the best course of action for you. If you are unable to come to one of our offices, we are happy to come to you, either at the hospital or your home. Let us help you seek the justice you deserve by reaching out to us today.

Common Injuries to Watch for on Memorial Day: How to Make Your Celebration Safe

Accident Injury Lawyer in Seattle Washington

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until the 21st of June, many celebrate Memorial Day as the official start of summer vacation. Cook-outs, water sports, and partying with friends and family are popular activities. As with any celebration, the fun can quickly turn scary when someone experiences a serious injury. Here are a few common injuries to watch for this Memorial Day weekend:

Boating Accidents

Recreational boating is a fun sport that involves all types of boats, including motorboats. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top five contributing factors of motorboat accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol use

Of the deaths reported by the Coast Guard in 2017, 449 were from drowning. Only 68 of the victims were wearing a life jacket—an incredible 370 were not. It is unknown if the remaining 11 victims wore life jackets.

Boating accidents, in addition to drowning, may result in one or more of the following injuries/conditions:

  • Trauma
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Hypothermia

Injuries result from what the Coast Guard cites as key factors in accidents: collisions with a recreational vessel or with a fixed object. Stay safe this summer by not mixing alcohol and boating and by wearing a life jacket.

Drunk Driving

Summer holidays are a popular time for enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Taking the fun too far and getting behind the wheel is all too common throughout Memorial Day weekend. Some of the most common injuries from a drunk driving crash include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Broken bones

Injuries like that of a TBI may require a lifetime of medical and personal care. Spinal cord injuries often require home and vehicle modifications for power chairs.

No one should suffer due to another driver’s reckless behavior behind the wheel. Despite knowing better, many choose to drink and drive due to excuses such as they “don’t live far away” or “no other transportation was available.” These excuses are just that—excuses for their reckless decision.

If you or someone you love is seriously injured due to a drunk driver over the Memorial Day weekend, contact a personal injury lawyer without delay.

Burns From Fireworks and Campfires

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than one million burn injuries each year in the United States. More than 53 percent of these injuries last year were from fireworks. While more closely associated with the Fourth of July, fireworks, especially sparklers, are a fun way to celebrate the arrival of summer.

For those camping over the Memorial Day weekend, campfires are of special concern. Most cooking camp cooking gear is made of light aluminum, which conducts heat faster than any other metal. The bare-metal handles are extremely hot-to-the-touch when cooking over a campfire.

Another popular campfire activity is roasting marshmallows. Here are some tips for keeping you and your little ones safe around a campfire:

  • Build the fire on level ground and surround it with rocks to contain the flames.
  • Use a stick long enough for roasting the marshmallows that children cannot feel the fire from where they stand.
  • If a marshmallow catches on fire, don’t try to blow out the flames. Stomp the fire out on the ground and start over with a fresh marshmallow.
  • Don’t leave a campfire unintended.
  • When you are ready to extinguish the fire, pour water on it until the hissing noise stops. Do not try to bury a fire.

A smoldering fire that isn’t completely out poses a real danger to young children. Campfire burns are more commonly caused by embers rather than flames. Young children can easily fall into a campfire, resulting in serious injuries.

There are three major types of burns:

  • First degree – This is the mildest form of burn categories and effects the first layer of your skin.
  • Second degree – More serious than the 1st degree, this category includes burns beyond the first layer of skin and can include blisters.
  • Third degree – The most severe type of burns, third degree burns through every layer of skin. Never try to treat third degree burns yourself; call 911 immediately. Do not try to remove a patient’s clothing and if possible, raise the injury above the person’s heart.

A campfire adds a festive atmosphere to any gathering. It is important to practice the utmost safety precautions and care so that you protect yourself, your guests, and the property around you.

Contact Boohoff Law if Someone Hurts You on Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on our nation’s military sacrifices and to enjoy celebrating the arrival of summer. At the Boohoff Law Firm, we want everyone to arrive home safely. It only takes a second for serious injury to occur over a holiday. If your Memorial Day weekend turns tragic due to the reckless behavior of a boater or drunk driver, or due to an out-of-control campfire, call us at (877) 999-9999 or contact us online.

Your road to recovery may include future surgeries, expensive medical equipment, and personal care. No one should pay out-of-pocket for these and other unexpected expenses due to a Memorial Day celebration that escalated into serious injuries.

Let us evaluate your case for free. Don’t delay as time is of the essence. The sooner we can investigate the evidence and speak with possible witnesses, the sooner we can take action on your behalf. While each case is different, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are unable to travel to one of our offices, we are happy to come to you, either at the hospital or in your home.

The Boohoff Law Firm is here for you. If you experienced serious injury due to no fault of your own, let’s talk. Start your journey to justice by reaching out to our legal team today.

Understanding Never Events

In March 2019, a woman sued Vanderbilt University Medical Center for $25 million dollars after a doctor allegedly operated on the wrong kidney, damaging her urinary system and requiring her to undergo dialysis for the rest of her life. This patient was the victim of a never event.

Unless you work in healthcare, it’s unlikely that you’ve heard the term never event. These egregious occurrences typically result in permanent disability or death. Never events are avoidable and constitute medical malpractice. Fortunately never events are rare, but they happen far too often. Understanding never events might help you avoid one of these devastating injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury or died during medical diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare, you need to seek the counsel of a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Contact Boohoff Law at (877) 999-9999 for a free consultation to discuss your case. Below you can learn more about never events.

What Is a Never Event?

In 2001, the former CEO of the National Quality Forum (NQF), Dr. Ken Kizer, introduced the concept of a never event. These events refer to shocking medical errors that should never occur, like the previous Vanderbilt example. As years have gone on, medical professionals and administrators have expanded the definition to include severe adverse events that are usually preventable and result in disability or death. Currently, the never event list includes 29 “serious reportable events” divided into seven categories.

  • Surgical or procedural events include surgeries or procedures on the wrong person and the wrong body part, as well as performing the wrong surgery or procedure on a patient. Leaving foreign objects in one’s body and fatality due to improper anesthesia are also included in this group of never events.
  • Product or device events include death or injury as a result of contaminated drugs or devices provided in a healthcare setting, as well as injury or death associated with the improper use of a device in patient care. Intravascular air embolisms caused in a health care setting are also never events.
  • Patient protection events refer to instances when a medical facility discharges or releases a patient or resident to an unauthorized person, and death or injury related to that release or disappearance. Medical professionals have a duty to protect patients and residents; never events also include a patient who attempts suicide, commits suicide, or commits any other type of self-harm.
  • Care management events are the most plentiful of all never events. Several types of events fall under the umbrella of care management, including death or injury related to medication error or unsafe administration of blood products. Death or injury to the mother or baby during labor and delivery of a low-risk pregnancy and artificial insemination using the wrong sperm or egg are also never events. Death or injuries resulting from a fall, bed sores, and loss of biological specimens while being cared for in a health care facility constitute further care management never events. Finally, death or injury resulting from the failure to provide test results, whether from the laboratory, pathology, or radiology.
  • Environmental events include death or disability as a result of electric shock, a mix up in oxygen or gas lines, and the toxic contamination of gas or oxygen lines. An environmental never event also might result from a burn during patient care or improper use of restraints or bed rails that lead to disability or death.
  • Radiologic events are extremely rare, but can occur when injury or a fatality occurs after some sort of metal object has been brought into the MRI area.
  • Criminal events might be the most egregious of all never events because they often include an intent to harm or outright neglect. Any time someone impersonates a medical professional, abducts a patient or resident, or abuses a patient or resident, a crime has occurred in addition to a never event. Physical assault and battery in a healthcare setting is also a never event when it results in a significant injury or death.

How Often Do Never Events Occur?

Very little research has focused on never events broadly, and only some groups of events have received special attention. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reports that most never events are extremely rare. The few studies that address never events focus on surgical errors. A 2006 study estimates that the average hospital might perform a wrong-site surgery every five to ten years, and a later 2013 study reveals more than 4,000 surgical never events occur each year in the United States. Although the likelihood of experiencing a never event is low, when they do occur, more than 70 percent result in death, suggesting a severe failure in safety practices at the medical facility where the event occurred.

Hire Our Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorneys After Experiencing a Never Event

Some never events immediately cause severe injury or death, in other cases a victim might not discover their injury for some time. This is especially common when a foreign object gets left inside of a patient’s body or when artificial insemination goes wrong.

Under Washington law, you must take legal action within three years of the date of injury, or within one year of discovering your injury, whichever is longer. Although some exceptions exist, any malpractice claim must be made within eight years from the date of injury under Washington’s statute of repose for medical malpractice cases. Your attorney will advise you of any exceptions that might apply to your case.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury or died as a result of a never event, no amount of money can undo the damage. Yet, seeking compensation for damages can help alleviate some or all of the financial burden which often accompanies severe injury. If you live in the Seattle area, contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Boohoff Law online or call at (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can assist you.

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Seattle

Seattle area residents get to live and work in one of the nation’s most cosmopolitan cities. In addition to its diverse food options and world-class dining, Seattle has a thriving arts and entertainment scene and ample cultural activities that draw visitors from around the world. This hub of activity, including some of the world’s largest companies, lie among picturesque views of the mountains and seascapes. Yet, with all its beauty and glory comes a price—Seattle’s hustle and bustle create risk for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

To help keep you safe, we dug into the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) collision data to compile a list of the most dangerous intersections in the city. First, let’s have a look at how we chose the intersections, followed by some of the general trends about the most dangerous intersections.

How Did We Choose the Most Dangerous Intersections in Seattle?

SDOT has collected and recorded collision data since 2004 for the greater Seattle area. They provide information such as whether a collision occurred at an intersection or in the middle of the block, whether an injury or fatality occurred, and whether two vehicles crashed or a motor vehicle hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. Other sources have used SDOT’s data to compile a list of the most dangerous intersections of Seattle over 10 or more years. While this is great information for those who live in Seattle, it doesn’t offer a complete picture.

Like many other U.S cities, Seattle has implemented a Vision Zero program in recent years. This program’s mission is to eliminate crashes, fatalities, and injuries on Seattle’s roads. Lists of Seattle’s most dangerous intersections that span more than a decade or include all of SDOT’s collision data don’t account for progress resulting from the implementation of Vision Zero projects. For a more up-to-date and complete view of Seattle’s most dangerous intersections, we used SDOT’s open data portal to look at all collisions that occurred in 2018 at Seattle intersections. We excluded property damage only collisions and kept crashes that resulted in injuries, serious injuries, or fatalities.

Trends Across Intersection Collisions in Seattle

Our search parameters found 1,878 traffic collisions in 2018 resulting in more than 2,500 injuries and seven fatalities in Seattle’s intersections. A little more than 28 percent (529) of these collisions occurred when it was dark out. In all but 29 of these nighttime collisions, streetlights were on. More than 1,200 of the accidents (64.5 percent) occurred during daylight hours. The remainder of the collisions occurred at dawn, dusk, or the collision report didn’t record light conditions. Some other broad statistics about intersection crashes in 2018 include:

  • 19 percent of collisions when a motor vehicle struck a pedestrian
  • A little less than 7 percent of collisions involved motor vehicles that struck bicyclists
  • About two-thirds (67.4 percent) of accidents at Seattle intersections in 2018 were between two or more motor vehicles
  • 71 percent of collisions occurred on dry roads
  • About 18 percent of crashes occurred during the rain, a handful occurred during snow or ice, and the remained occurred on clear or overcast days
  • None of the seven fatalities in 2018 occurred at intersections with more than five accidents

Seattle’s Most Dangerous Intersections in 2018

Below are the most dangerous intersections in Seattle, beginning with the intersection with the most injury or fatality-causing crashes:

James Street and Sixth Avenue

James and Sixth has continuously topped the list of Seattle’s most dangerous intersections. In 2018, eight injury-causing accidents occurred at this intersection, but SDOT estimates 101 injury crashes have occurred since 2004, 28 more than the next most dangerous intersection. Fortunately, James and Sixth is located near the courthouse and across the expressway from Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Boren Avenue and Pike Street

Located near the Villa Apartments, only a block from the Washington State Convention Center, lies Seattle’s next most dangerous intersection—Boren Avenue and Pike Street. This intersection also saw eight traffic accidents in 2018, resulting in three injured pedestrians among the injury victims. This high foot traffic area has been plagued with pedestrian accidents as well as motor vehicle and bicycle accidents for decades, with 67 collisions since 2004.

Lake City Way NE and NE 130th Street

Situated about seven miles northeast of downtown Seattle in the city’s Lake City neighborhood, the intersection of Lake City Way NE & 130th Street served as the locale for eight accidents in 2018, also including a few pedestrian injuries. As a major thoroughfare in the northeast part of the city, Lake City Way intersections were the sites for several accidents in 2018.

Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street

In 2018, seven crashes occurred at the intersection of Dexter and Thomas in downtown Seattle. This area is home to some of the big chain hotels popular with tourists because of its close proximity to the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. This area remains dangerous for bicyclists—five out of the seven collisions took place between a motor vehicle driver and a cyclist. Fortunately, no fatalities occurred at Dexter and Thomas in 2018.

The remaining dangerous intersections in Seattle each had six collisions in 2018 and are scattered in different areas of the city. In no particular order, they include:

  • 15th Avenue NE and NE Pacific Street
  • Fifth Avenue and University Street
  • Corson Avenue South and South Michigan Street
  • South Dawson Street and East Marginal Way
  • Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street
  • Rainier Avenue South and South Massachusetts Street

Contact Our Skilled Attorneys After an Accident at One of Seattle’s Dangerous Intersections

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after a car, truck, bike, or pedestrian accident at one of Seattle’s dangerous intersections, you might qualify for compensation. Washington law entitles you to sue for damages in civil court if your accident resulted from another party’s negligent actions. Contact the experienced attorneys at Boohoff Law in Seattle at (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident and injury, and determine the best path forward for your circumstances.

New Drivers and the Rules of the Road: Keeping Your Teen Safe This Summer

Summer is almost upon us, which means your teen will be on break. Whether commuting to and from a summer job or spending time with their friends, your teen is sure to want to get some time behind the wheel. Finding the balance between trusting your teen behind the wheel and preventing an accident has given parent sleepless nights for ages.

In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with those between 16 and 19 facing three times the risk of a fatal crash than those above age 20. While it might be tempting to make your new driver ride their bicycle until they are 30, you can help keep them safe this summer with some of the following tips, but first, let’s look at Washington’s laws for teen drivers.

Intermediate License Restrictions for New Drivers in Washington

New drivers under age 18 receive an intermediate license when they pass their drivers’ test. An immediate license automatically turns to a regular license once a driver turns 18, but until that occurs, an intermediate license holder must follow these traffic laws:

Driving With Passengers

For the first six months, your teen cannot have any passengers under age 20 unless they are immediate family members, such as siblings. This means that if your teen recently got their license, they cannot spend summer nights cruising around with friends in the car, or they face penalties. After the first six months of an intermediate license, your teen may have passengers under age 20 who aren’t family members as long as there are no more than three. Passengers cause distractions, so you might want to enforce your own driving rule to extend the no passenger rule or only allow one or two friends in the car with your teen driver.

Driving at Night

Driving when it’s dark is dangerous for adults, let alone new drivers who don’t have the experience to react to fatigued drivers and drunk drivers who might be on the road when it’s late. Under Washington law, your teen cannot drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless they have a licensed driver over age 25 in the car. The law does make exceptions for teen drivers who are transporting farm products or supplies for agricultural purposes.

Cell Phone Use

Adult drivers in Washington can use a cell phone when operating a vehicle as long as it is hands-free. Washington law strictly prohibits cell phone and other wireless device use while driving for those under age 18. This means your teen cannot talk or text on their phone and may only use their phone to call 911 for an emergency.

If your teen doesn’t abide by the previous license restrictions, and law enforcement catches them in the act, you can expect a warning letter home for the first offense. A second offense will result in a six month suspension, and a third offense will result in a mandatory suspension until age 18.

Tips to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

New drivers don’t have the experience behind the wheel or the reflexes to always have the correct reactions and make the right decisions when driving. Keeping your new teen driver safe requires reinforcing the legal rules of the road and instilling other good driving habits. The Washington State Department of Licensing offers a safe driving agreement between parents and their teens. This contract helps support and build good driving habits and includes the following:

Obey all traffic laws and don’t speed. According to the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) speed is a factor in about a third of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. Even if your teen is driving the speed limit, he or she still might be traveling too fast for conditions. Make sure you remind your teen to slow down in rain, ice, snow, and heavy traffic.

Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the CDC, 20 percent of male drivers between 15 and 20 who were involved in traffic accidents are under the influence of alcohol. Washington, like many other states, has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers. If your teen has any alcohol related incident, they will lose their license until they are 18.

Offer a no judgment ride policy to your teen. Your teen should never ride with another new driver with whom they are not comfortable, especially if alcohol is involved. Offer your teen a ride at any hour so they don’t get into a car with a drunk driver or get behind the wheel after drinking themselves.

Know your teen’s driving plans. Have your teen call if they are going to be late and not drive after 10 p.m., as well as discussing where they are driving before they leave the house.

Use seat belts. Not only is it illegal to not wear a seat belt, but it is dangerous. Remind your teen that if they have an accident without their seat belt, it’s more likely to sustain a serious injury. Drivers should also ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seat belt.

Avoid distractions. Although cell phone usage is banned, new drivers need to avoid other distractions, such as eating in the car, adjusting the radio, personal grooming, and putting on makeup. Almost half of Seattle accidents involving teens in 2017 were caused by cars going out of their lane or running off of the side of the road, often a result of inattentive driving.

Get Legal Help From Boohoff Law if Someone Injures Your Teen in an Accident

Even when your teen is obeying all the traffic laws, complying with restrictions, and overall driving safely, they can still get in an accident because of another motorist. In the event that an accident occurs, make sure your teen seeks medical attention as soon as possible. Then, enlist the help of Boohoff Law to learn about how we can help you recover damages after your teen gets in a car accident. If you are in the Seattle area, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Boohoff Law online or call at (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free consultation.

May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast living in the Seattle area, you know that you can ride your bike year-round, or at least 10 months out of the year. Yet, some don’t want to battle the colder weather or potential icy roads during the winter months, so they wait until spring to break out their bike for the summer. This makes May the perfect time to think about motorcycle safety. Fortunately, most bikers ride safely, and when they are involved in an accident, it’s often caused by another motorist.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission estimates that motorcycle accidents account for 15 percent of traffic fatalities and almost 20 percent of severe injuries in crashes. An average of 75 bikers die each year on Washington’s roads and highways. Whether you’ve been riding for years or weeks, it’s important to remain focused on safety for your own protection. Below are some tips to help you avoid accidents while you commute to work or take a joy ride to enjoy the picture-perfect landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

Know Your Bike

One of the best ways to keep you safe on the road is knowing how to handle your bike. This is a learned skill that only gets better as you ride more. It’s important that you have a motorcycle that fits your body, which means you should be able to put both feet flat on the ground and reach your handlebars. You should also make sure your bike isn’t too heavy for you. Assuming your motorcycle is a good fit for you, hone your skills by taking a rider’s safety class. You can find classes for all levels from beginning to advanced. The Washington State Department of Licensing lists multiple locations throughout the state, including three locations in Seattle.

Get the Right Gear

As you are cruising around on your motorcycle, only your gear separates you from the road if you get in an accident. The right gear helps reduce injuries and might even prevent them in some cases. Washington law requires all bikers to wear helmets. Keep in mind that helmets don’t last forever; exposure to oil and chemicals from hair products cause them to wear slowly overtime. The Snell Memorial Foundation, a world-respected non-profit organization who independently researches and tests helmets, suggests you replace your helmet at least every five years.

In addition to protecting your head, you need the right gear to protect your eyes and feet. Even if your bike has a windshield, you should wear a helmet with a face shield, sunglasses, or goggles to keep debris out of your eyes while riding. Eye protection also keeps the rain out of your eyes, something you will most likely experience at some point when cruising around Seattle. Rain can also cause your feet to slip, so invest in good motorcycle boots to give you traction and protect your feet from getting wet.

The right protective clothing keeps you safe in two ways. First, leather and padded gear protect you from the elements and from road rash if you get in an accident. Second, when you buy clothing and gear in bright colors, you make yourself visible to others on the road which prevents accidents.

Ride Your Motorcycle Defensively

Aggressive motorcycle drivers who take chances are more likely to be involved in an accident, and even those who drive carefully face the risk of an accident. Riding defensively helps you anticipate and prevent hazards and dangerous situations that might lead to injury or fatality. The following tips will help you drive defensively on your next motorcycle ride:

  • Continuously scan the road for hazards which might include debris, sand, pebbles, tree branches, and potholes, so you can avoid them. If you don’t have the space or time to drive around the hazard, reduce your speed as much as you can.
  • Leave ample space and time for you to respond to other vehicles on the road and also leave enough time and space for them to respond to you. Following too closely on a bike or being followed too closely might be disastrous. If a vehicle is too close behind you, you need to move to the side and let them pass.
  • Ride in the most visible area of a lane and avoid the blind spots of other vehicles, so drivers who haven’t cleared their blind spots don’t run into you while changing lanes or turning.
  • Avoid riding in bad weather; wet roads and high winds make for dangerous roads. Yet, biking in the rain is bound to happen on occasion. If you get caught in the rain, ride on a dry line. The tires from the car in front of you plow the water away and leave a dry line that will give you more traction.
  • Use your turn signals, and horn if necessary, to let other motorists know your intentions.
  • Only pass vehicles when absolutely necessary, and make sure the driver sees you.
  • Avoid riding your bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you feel fatigued.
  • Slow down for curves and bends in the road.
  • Keep an eye out for distracted drivers on their phone, eating, reaching in their back seat, or partaking in any activity that interrupts their focus on the road.
  • Avoid quick braking because it might cause you to skid. Many high-end models come standard with anti-lock brakes, but if you have a low-end model or an older bike, consider investing in anti-lock brakes. Sometimes a vehicle or hazard in front of you forces you to suddenly brake, anti-lock brakes will help you avoid an accident or dumping your bike after a skid.

Get the Help You Need After a Motorcycle Accident

Even when you know your motorcycle well, wear the proper gear, and following defensive driving tips, you still might sustain an injury in a motorcycle accident. Washington law permits you to seek damages in court to recover medical costs, lost wages, and non-economic damages, but you need the guidance of a skilled motorcycle accident attorney to increase your chances of a successful settlement or verdict in your favor. Contact the skilled legal team at Boohoff Law online or call at (877) 999-9999 for a free consultation if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident.

Living With the Effects of a Serious Injury

Suffering a severe or catastrophic injury is a life-changing event that devastates victims and their families. The aftermath of the injury includes physical, emotional, and financial consequences that make it difficult for victims to return to life as normal. No amount of money will undo the damage caused by a severe accident, but money can help reduce or eliminate the financial burden associated with catastrophic injuries that require lifelong treatment or care. If you are not already suing for damages, you need to contact an attorney immediately to find out more about receiving compensation for your injury.

This blog focuses on the physical and emotional effects of a serious injury, aspects a successful settlement or court-awarded damages can’t really help. Injury victims, especially those who have scars, have lost body parts, or have had to undergo an amputation, deal with as much mental pain as physical pain, and often suffer with depression and remain angry about their condition. If this describes you or a loved one, you need to contact a mental health professional in the Seattle area as soon as possible. You don’t have to spend your days angry and depressed.

Although you may live with certain aspects of your injury, you can optimize your health by supporting your body’s natural capability to self-repair after severe injuries and illness. Below you will find some tips and suggestions to help you cope and move past the physical and emotional struggles that accompany sustaining a life-changing injury.

Recognize the Link Between the Physical and the Emotional

If you have suffered a serious injury, you might have chronic pain. Perhaps you have back pain, knee pain, or phantom pain from an amputation. Regardless of the pain you are experience, the old cliche—mind over matter—applies.

Research on pain suggests victims can learn to feel pain after experiencing pain, and when they fear or anticipate pain, they feel more pain. When you come into contact with the situation that led to your injury, such as a car accident, an unintentional fall, or a workplace accident, it’s not uncommon to fear another accident and feel additional pain. Chronic pain is no joke, and you should be communicating with your doctor about effective pain management, but part of that strategy should include overcoming your fear of pain.

Engage in Rational Thought

After a severe injury, you most likely have had well-meaning friends and family tell you to think positively, look on the bright side, and other unhelpful things to blow some sunshine your way. The power of positive self-talk can be helpful for some, but many psychologists prefer to focus on rational and realistic thought through the implementation of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) principles. REBT seeks to transform victims by helping them change the things they tell themselves about their injuries. Some examples of transformative thoughts that might be useful to you include:

  • The accident that led to my injury is not my fault.
  • Others have experienced severe injuries and also have limitations.
  • I refuse to let my limitations ruin my life.
  • I will make an effort to restore my career and my personal relationships.
  • I will attempt to make meaningful contributions to my community despite my limitations.

For some, physical pain is not only a reminder of an injury, but a reminder of the assistance and extra care needed invoking feelings of weakness. Engaging in rational thought through therapies like REBT, help victims cope with anger, accept their limitations, and lead a full life.

Eat Nutritious Meals

It’s likely that you know you should consume a healthy diet, but sometimes we don’t do what’s best for our health. After sustaining a severe injury, there is no better time to focus on what you put in your body. Vitamins and minerals found in unprocessed foods may promote healing and recovery. Including these things in your diet will help you optimize your health so you feel the best you can feel despite any disability or pain. For example, vitamin A may promote the healing of skin and bones, vitamin C may help repair connective tissue through the formation of collagen, and the enzymes found in pineapple may reduce swelling, bruising, and pain after injury and surgery.

Eating healthy also includes avoiding a lot of starch and sugar, and drinking plenty of water. Sugary foods give you temporary energy, but cause you to crash so you feel worse. Drinking water flushes the toxins out of your system and keeps your joints lubricated. When you eat healthy most of the time—we all need a little birthday cake, some homemade pasta, a glass of wine, or a beer on occasion—you will find you are more energetic, helping to fight off some of the depression you might feel after a serious injury.

Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine

As much as you need your rest for healing and recovery, you also need to keep moving to the best of your ability. Some injuries might prevent regular exercise, so you should discuss your limitations with your doctor. In most cases, you can do some sort of activity to get your heart rate going and build your strength. If the benefits of exercise could be extracted into a liquid or pill, people would rush their doctors for a prescription.

You probably know the physical benefits of exercise, but did you know that activity also promotes healing? Physical activity affects hemostasis, the body’s physiological response to bleeding and the first step of wound healing. Additionally, exercise promotes collagen formation, helping soft tissues heal, improves the healing of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and decreases the formation of scar tissue. Finally, exercise helps combat anxiety and depression that a victim might experience after an injury, improving one’s overall mental health.

Contact Boohoff Law’s Skilled Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe or catastrophic injury after an accident, Washington law entitles you to sue for damages in civil court if your injury was a result of another party’s negligence or intent to harm you. Let an experienced personal injury attorney handle the details of your case while you focus on recovery, rehabilitation, and living with your injury. Contact Boohoff Law online or call our Seattle office at (877) 999-9999 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you after a severe injury.

Helping Your Teen Avoid Drowsy Driving

How Teens Can Sleep and Drive Safely

Commit to never driving drowsy. Just like teens should make a commitment to never drive drunk, it’s essential to avoid driving drowsy. Know the risks and signs of drowsy driving, and if you’re feeling too sleepy to drive, pull over and change drivers or take a quick nap. It may also be helpful to stop and stretch or drink coffee if you’re not feeling alert enough to drive safely.

Know the signs of drowsy driving. It’s important to be aware of what drowsy driving looks like, so you can recognize it and pull over before it becomes a problem. Drowsy driving signs include frequent yawning, blinking, or bobbing your head, missing your exit, drifting into the next lane or hitting rumble strips, and forgetting the last stretch of road you drove.

Commit to healthy sleep. It can often be difficult for teens to get enough sleep, but sleep is important not just for driving safely, but for physical and mental health. Teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep, should plan their schedule so that they have enough time to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Create a healthy sleep schedule, bedtime routine, and sleep environment.

Take care to avoid pitfalls that can interfere with healthy sleep. Late night screen time, exercise, caffeine, and heavy meals before bed can leave you feeling too stimulated to sleep and make it difficult to get rest. Make evenings more relaxing so that you can ease into bed.

Avoid drowsy driving risks. Some actions can put teens at a higher risk of drowsy driving. Driving late at night, eating a heavy meal, or drinking before driving can increase the risk that you’ll be too sleepy to drive, so these actions should be avoided.

Gues Post from Ben DiMaggio a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Ben specializes in investigating how sleep, and sleep deprivation, affect public health and safety. Ben lives in Portland, Oregon. His worst sleep habit is checking his email right before bed.

Tuck Sleep Foundation is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.