Washington State’s distracted driving law makes it illegal to use a mobile phone or portable electronic device while operating a vehicle. Since the law went into effect in 2017, traffic fatalities have reduced noticeably.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the majority of residents are aware that holding a cell phone while driving is illegal. Approximately 68% of the residents surveyed understand that using a mobile phone at a red light could also result in penalties for violating a traffic rule.
Awareness of law reduces accidents
Individuals wishing to ride safely as passengers have encouraged motorists behind the wheel to put down their phones. Not only does this help prevent accidents, it also raises awareness of the Evergreen State’s distracted driving laws.
When a motorist sends a text message or takes a photo with a mobile device, it increases the chance of a collision. According to the WTSC, talking on a mobile device while driving results in three times as many crashes as staying off the phone. The risks are nearly the same as an impaired motorist with more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit.
Washington ranks fourth in the nation
Even with strict distracted driving laws, Washington ranks as the fourth state with the most accidents. As reported by KOMO News, motorists age 65 and older and drivers between the age of 15 and 19 have the highest number of traffic collisions due to distractions.
Because distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road, a serious collision could occur within seconds. An injured party may file a legal action to recover damages when a driver causes an otherwise preventable accident. Remedies may include compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs and lost wages.