Crossing the Line

An elderly Port Angeles man was killed in a deadly crash Tuesday morning after his van crossed the center line and hit a semi-truck. The fatal wreck closed all lanes of State Route 3, at Lofall Road, just north of Poulsbo, for several hours.

After hitting the truck, the van then went into the northbound lanes of traffic, where it was hit by an oncoming car.  The driver of the truck and car suffered only minor injuries.   http://komonews.com/news/local/fatality-crash-closes-state-route-3-in-kitsap-county

Dangerous Drifting

Deadly crashes can happen instantly, especially if a driver drifts off the road or to sleep. Safely operating any vehicle requires adequate rest and respect for the rules of the road.

For as often as the average person commutes, most can instantly recognize negligent driving behaviors on the road. Drifting in the lane, crossing the center line, or hitting the rumble strips frequently can be dangerous. Unfortunately, these are just a few types of dangerous driving behaviors that can result in fatal mistakes in our travels.

Getting enough rest if a key factor in a safe driving routine. But some other factors also include being free from any impairing agents–like alcohol and drugs. Responsible drivers should recognize that even prescription drugs can cause impairments and plan their commutes accordingly.

Drive Alert and Stay Unhurt

Crossing over the center line can occur for a variety of reasons. When it comes to shocking passenger vehicle crashes, the causes may be far more ordinary than presumed. Looking for the reasons behind an auto accident, investigators will look for errors due to the driver’s physical or mental exhaustion, unpredictable weather conditions, and inner-vehicle distractions, like answering a phone.

Whatever the reason–here are a few things to keep in mind to make each trip a safe one.

Driver Fatigue

Photo credit: Sleepfoundation.org

We live in a country where a vast number of people experience chronic sleeping problems.  America may be in, what you could call, a Sleep Recession. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say we are in the middle of a public health epidemic.

We need to make sleep a priority, scheduling it like we would any of our other activities. The amount of quality sleep one gets is vital to a healthier lifestyle, safer driving performance and higher-functioning cognitive abilities. https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/2

Fatigue Driving

Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of operating a vehicle while tired or sleepy. But other factors can contribute to erratic driving behaviors.  Some of these factors may include: untreated sleep disorders, prescription medications, alcohol, and graveyard or shift work.

An estimated 1 in 25 people admit to falling sleep while driving in the last 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving may even be responsible for over 72,000 crashes a year.

Check out this for more facts on and ways to prevent drowsy driving:   http://www.fieldinglawgroup.com/accident-tips/getting-drowsy-driving/

Distractions

A distracted driving accident odistraction-crash is any wreck where the driver’s focus was not on the road at the time of the crash. In 2013, there were over 3,100 fatalities and an estimated 424,000 people injured motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

The most common factor in distraction crashes were cell phones. A national media campaign and new distracted driving laws focus on the effects of using a cell phone while driving.  But many distractions, including eating in the vehicle, adjusting the radio or even interacting with other passengers while driving, can prove fatal.   https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812132 

Dismal Weather Conditions

It may come as a surprise to those of us in the Pacific Northwest, but rain has proven to be the deadliest of weather driving hazards.  Mounting moisture not only leads to dismal weather conditions, but challenges any driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. In fact, there’s a higher risk of having a car accident due to rain, than on either snow and ice.

The loss of friction between the tire and pavement, coupled with poor visibility and thrashing sprays from other vehicles, can lead to dangerous outcomes as well. Speeding and ignoring any warning signs in the rain can also prove to be lethal.

Rumble Strips

Over half of all fatal crashes in the United States occur after a driver crosses the edge or center line of a roadway. Two-thirds of these fatal crashes occur in rural areas.

Most major highway systems and roadways have safety features many are unaware of. Center line rumble strips are an effective way to prevent head-on collisions and sideswipes.  They act as a physical and audible reminder to the driver that they are straying from the safety perimeters of their lane.

Rumble strips are engineered grooves in the pavement. There design helps to assist drivers better navigate the roadway when weather conditions, like rain, fog or snow, limit their visibility.   https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/pavement/rumble_strips/cmrumblestrips/

Our Car Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help

We all drive through life, in all conditions, and at all times of the day. With a little extra sleep and information ahead of time, we can be alert enough to get where we need to go. Share these tips and thoughts with others, to ensure a healthy and safe commute.

If you or someone you know has been injured or hurt in a sideswipe crash or by a drowsy driver, contact Fielding Law Group today, for a free case evaluation. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to determine your legal rights after an accident. Our experienced auto accident attorneys and legal team at Fielding Law Group will fight and get the compensation you are entitled to for injuries caused by an at-fault driver. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU! 

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