Every time we get into a vehicle, there is always a small chance that we may encounter a traffic collision, whether it is our fault or someone else’s. While that is not enough reason to skip out on using a car, it drives curiosity on the common causes, how they can be prevented, and what you need to know in case an accident occurs. Today, we are sharing with you the most common causes of car accidents in Bellevue, Washington, and what you need to know to prevent and handle them.
3 Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington
To provide the most significant scope of data to fully understand what is behind the most common causes of car accidents, we will start by looking at Washington State as a whole, utilizing the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission data report.
Driving While Distracted
We live in an era where distractions are everywhere, from music banging through the speakers to phones pinging messages to passengers chatting up the driver. Unfortunately, these distractions often leave the driver less aware and under-prepared to handle unexpected circumstances on the road. Fortunately, drivers are learning the dangers of being distracted, and the numbers have gone down every year since 2017. In 2017, the fatalities from crashes involving distracted drivers were 86, and in 2021, that decreased to 55 fatalities.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving:
The best way to prevent distracted driving accidents from occurring is to minimize distractions in the car to the best of your ability. Try to avoid sifting through music playlists, checking your phone, eating behind the wheel, looking back at passengers, or anything else that pulls your eyes from the road. For a complete list of recommendations, we suggest reading American Family Insurance’s article on How to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents.
Driving Impaired with Drugs and/or Alcohol
In 2021, it was reported that of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 9% were alcohol positive, 16% were drug positive, 10% were alcohol and drug positive, and 51% were left untested. While distracted driving has been improving, impaired driving has gotten worse over three years of data, from 59 fatalities in 2019 to 72 in 2021.
How to Prevent Impaired Driving:
Car accidents in Bellevue and throughout Washington due to impaired driving can easily be avoided. With the wealth of public transportation, taxis, and rideshares, drivers should never get behind the wheel if they are impaired. To prevent impaired driving, we recommend planning ahead for when you plan to become impaired by using alternative transportation or assigning a designated driver. If you become impaired unexpectedly, call a friend or family to come get you or take alternative transportation home.
Going Over the Speed Limit
In 2021, there was a total of 942 fatal crashes in Washington. Of those, 188 drivers (20%) were speeding. When drivers exceed the recommended speed limit, they are more likely to cause an accident due to reduced maneuverability, longer stop times, and decreased reaction time. Plus, the greater the speed of the vehicle, the higher the chance of injury or death due to increased collision force.
How to Prevent Speeding:
The best way to prevent speeding is to ease off that gas pedal. While getting to your destination 2 minutes faster can be tempting, no time saved is worth risking your life or another’s.
Common Car Accidents in Bellevue
Looking at car accidents in Bellevue is just a tiny piece of the greater Washington pie. Given the smaller area and population, the numbers are far lower than you see above and are improving. According to Bellevue’s Traffic Collision Data, from 2012 to 2021, 196 people were seriously injured, and 24 were killed in traffic collisions on Bellevue’s streets. To put that into perspective, every 17 days, someone was killed or seriously injured on Bellevue’s roads.
Of the most common causes of accidents, Bellevue listed five behaviors that contributed to 67% of all fatal and severe injury collisions, which include the three reasons listed above: distracted driving, impaired driving, and speeding, in addition to failing to yield to a pedestrian and not granting right-of-way to vehicles.
Bellevue is on a Mission to Achieve Vision Zero
Bellevue is on a mission to reduce car accidents in Bellevue and become a safer city to drive in as a whole. Bellevue’s Vision Zero Initiative was inspired by a similar plan conducted in Sweden in the 1990s to prevent unnecessary traffic collisions. Bellevue’s Vision Zero Strategic Plan aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious-injury crashes within the city by 2030. They found that 83% of serious injury and fatal collisions occur on just 8% of the city’s total street network. While the strategy is still in progress, we look forward to seeing how it impacts car accidents in Bellevue in the coming years.
How to Handle Car Accidents in Bellevue – Contact Robert Jones Law
While there are many actions we can take to avoid causing a car accident in Bellevue, there are circumstances beyond our control. If you have found yourself or someone you know involved in a traffic accident, whether you are at fault or not, we encourage you to contact us at Robert Jones Law for legal assistance.
We have an experienced team of lawyers ready to guide you through the aftermath of your recent incident. Our professionals will take the time to learn each detail of your accident, advise you on what actions you should take, help you with insurance claims, and minimize your stress. Visit our website and contact us to get a free consultation with experienced personal injury attorneys at Robert Jones Law today.