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Texting and Driving: Physicians Join Forces to Fight Against Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is against the law in Washington and physicians are joining advocates in the fight to reduce the injuries and deaths connected to distracted driving accidents.

Drivers who chose to send, receive or read text messages while operating their vehicles contribute to hundreds of thousands of accidents every year throughout the United States. In 2011, the US Government Website for Distracted Driving reports that there were 3,360 deaths connected to distraction-affected crashes. In 2012, there were 3,328. There were an additional 421,000 people injured in these accidents, a 9 percent increase from the estimated 387,000 injured in 2011.

Legislators across the country are taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of injury connected to distracted driving practices. Recently, an article by Business Insider noted that physicians are joining this fight. The American College of Preventative Medicine (ACPM) is calling for legislators, physicians and parents to join this fight. More specifically, the group is calling for more severe laws against texting while driving. ACPM is also calling parents to take time to educate their children on these dangers and for physicians to discuss texting and driving with their patients.

Texting and Driving in Washington: The Law

Texting and driving is taken seriously in Washington. The Washington State Department of Licensing notes that driving while talking on a cellphone results in a driver who has the same level of impairment as one with a 0.08 blood alcohol level, a level over the legal limit. A driver who is texting is as impaired as a drunk driver with a 0.16 blood alcohol level - double the legal limit.

Legislators in Washington are taking steps that align with the ACPM recommendations. The state bans the use of a cellphone to text while driving, making it illegal to send, read or write a text message while driving. Anyone who violates this law faces a monetary fine.

Texting and Driving in Washington: Tragic Accidents

Texting and driving can lead to tragic accidents. As noted above, a driver who is attempting to operate a vehicle while texting faces the same level of impairment as a drunk driver. These drivers are slower to engage brakes in emergency situations and only notice half of the visual cues of an upcoming emergency compared to attentive drivers. This greatly increases the risk of involvement in a car crash.

Those who are injured by a distracted driver can hold the driver responsible for his or her actions. Violation of these laws can help establish that the driver was negligent. This can lead to compensation that can help cover the high cost of medical bills, rehabilitative treatment and potential wages from missed work.

Victims of distracted driving accidents are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced distracted driving accident attorney in Seattle. This legal professional will advocate for your legal rights, working to better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.