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5 Vehicle Maintenance Tips to Prevent Winter Car Accidents

winter car accidents

According to statistics, more than 100,000 people were reported injured in vehicle crashes involving snowy, slushy, or icy pavement. And while this number continues to increase as the years go on, it urges drivers to take their defensive driving skills to the next level. 

It’s no secret. Drivers don’t always keep up with the latest accident prevention articles on the web. But with the colder months quickly approaching, winter weather driving tips may be just what you need to keep safe. read more

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Why Most Auto Accidents Occur In Summer

auto accidents in summer

The second November hits, you see articles everywhere about winter driving. Everyone is talking about the extra risk it carries and how to be safe in the snow.

That’s great to see and it tends to educate people well. The problem is that winter isn’t the only time driving is dangerous.

Auto accidents in summer are more common occurrences than people realize. The season doesn’t get the publicity that winter does so few drivers know the risks. Today is the day you can change that.

Why There Are More Auto Accidents in Summer

Summer may not put ice on the roads but it has plenty of hazards of its own. In fact, there are several reasons accident rates increase during this time. read more

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4 Simple Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle accidentsMotorcycle crash fatalities are 28 times more frequent than fatal passenger vehicle crashes.

We don’t say that to scare you. We say it to express how important safety is on your ride.

As many benefits as motorcycles have, the dangers are real. While you can’t control all your risk factors, there are things you can do to lower your risk of motorcycle accidents, especially as the holiday travel season approaches.

Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Before your next ride, keep these safety tips in mind.

1. Be Noticeable

One of the common ways motorcyclists get into accidents is when cars turn out in front of them. You can’t control the fact that other drivers don’t always pay attention, but you can take actions to make yourself as noticeable as possible.

First, wear noticeable colors. If you’re riding at night, wearing black from head to toe won’t do you any favors.

Second, position yourself like a car. Leave as much space between yourself and the cars in front of you as you would if you were a car. Don’t drive in between two lanes of cars. Overall, the key is to be where cars would expect you to be.

Along these same lines, be careful not to ride in any cars’ blind spots. This includes not riding too close to the car in front of you. If you do, other drivers who want to turn or change lanes behind that car won’t see you.

Finally, never assume anyone can see you. Defensive driving can save lives.

2. Be Hyper-Aware

In the same way that you want other drivers to keep an eye out for you, you need to be aware of your surroundings as well to avoid a motorcycle accident.

No matter how long your ride may be, keep your mind on the road instead of getting distracted. Always know where the cars around you are by scanning your surroundings as well as your mirrors.

On top of other cars, you need to keep a watch on the road itself as well. Obstructions that seem small can launch a motorcycle into the air.

3. Practice Weather-Safe Driving

Weather is on the way and we’ll have snowy driving conditions before you know it. The weather should have an important effect on your driving habits.

If the road is slippery from ice, leave more space in front of your motorcycle than you would otherwise.

In some cases, the weather can also affect other drivers’ visibility. Whether the problem is fog, heavy rain, or heavy snow, try not to ride during these times. If you must, make sure your lights are on.

4. Keep Up with Your Maintenance

Proper maintenance doesn’t just protect you from expensive repairs. It helps you prevent accidents as well.

Keep up with your regular maintenance appointments so your motorcycle doesn’t have a critical problem. Check your lights every time to ride to ensure that they still work.

Your tires are among the most important parts of safety maintenance, though. Keep up with regular alignments and replace your tires as soon as their treads become worn.

Enjoying a Safe Ride

For most bikers, their motorcycle is more than a mode of transportation. It’s a passion. As important as these tips are for safety, though sometimes motorcycle accidents are unavoidable. If that happens, call our personal injury lawyer.

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Car Accident Questions: Should You Call a Lawyer or Report a Minor Accident?

minor accident

Every year, road accidents in the U.S. cause injuries and disabilities to 2.35 million individuals. Worse, more than 37,000 people die due to these crashes.

Now, consider the fact that Washington housed over 5.63 million licensed drivers in 2016. With this kind of number, it’s easy to see why the year before, a whopping 117,053 collisions occurred! In fact, there was a crash for every 5 minutes in 2015.

Granted, some of these are what you’d call a minor accident. Many resulted from distracted driving (think texting while driving). But an accident is an accident, and even a small one can already give you a traumatic experience.

But does a minor car accident warrant reporting to the police? Should you even call a lawyer?

All these questions and more we’ll answer in this guide on what to do after a minor car accident. So, make sure you keep reading!

When Reporting a Collision is a Legal Must

The Washington State Patrol requires drivers to report collisions that caused damages of over $1,000. If the police didn’t investigate the crash, you need to file a report no more than four days after the accident.

Of course, you should call the proper authorities if the collision caused serious visible damages. That’s 9-1-1 for major injuries.

What About Fender Benders?

What if the crash you were in was only a bumper accident? In this case, you should still get the insurance information of the other party.

That includes the complete name, addresses, and contact information of everyone involved. Don’t forget passengers and witnesses too. Note the license numbers, plate numbers, and insurance providers of the other parties.

This is especially true if you’re dealing with uninsured or underinsured motorists. Keep in mind that in 2015, there were still 17.4% uninsured drivers in the state.

When and Why Involve a Lawyer Then?

A lot of people make the mistake of not taking a minor car accident with no car damage seriously. There may be no visible property damage, but an unseen injury may have already occurred.

That’s right. You may actually have sustained whiplash. It’s a type of neck injury that can have delayed symptoms, from pain to swelling to even insomnia!

Because the symptoms of whiplash can go unnoticed for a few hours, even days after the accident, you may not have reported an injury right after the crash. That’s why in this case, it’s best you contact a personal injury attorney.

Never Underestimate a Minor Accident

Even if your bumper saved you from serious injuries, its replacement can still cost you $400 to $1,500. Even chips and scratches can already set you back anywhere between $50 and $1,500. Then, there’s the possibility of pain and suffering from hidden injuries, like whiplash.

All this said, you should never think lightly of a minor accident. Besides, even without injuries or damages, it’s already an unpleasant, even traumatizing event.

If you were in a road crash, regardless of how minor you think it is, consider talking about it with us. We can help you figure out the next best course of action.

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Teenagers Texting and Driving: What Parents Need to Know

teenagers texting and driving

A recent study by the CDC found that over half of student drivers over 16 frequently texts and drive. Every day, 9 people die as a result of car crashes caused by texting or otherwise distracted drivers.

If you’re a parent, you need to know about your kids’ driving habits to keep them and others on the road safe. You need to know about your teenagers texting and driving.

If your kids have already been in a car accident that happened as a result of texting and driving, you’ll need to know how to best protect your financial assets or fight for your insurance claim. Below, we’ve detailed everything you need to know.

The Facts

When a driver takes their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel, they increase their risk of crashing. In the seconds spent sending a text, a distracted driver could end a life.

Texting and driving cause an estimated 300,000-700,000 car accidents every year.

Texting isn’t the sole cause of distracted driving. Talking on your cell phone, selfies, social media, or watching videos all contribute to distracted driving. In fact, only 12% of car accidents caused by distracted driving come from texting and driving.

The Laws

It isn’t difficult to catch people texting and driving. It’s such a serious problem that several states have laws making the practice illegal. In Washington, it’s illegal to even hold an electronic device when stopped at an intersection.

In these states, if you’re caught texting and driving you may face heavy fines or possible jail time. In Washington, the first ticket you receive for using an electronic device in your car is $136 and the second one is $234. Washington’s distracted driving laws also prohibit you from shaving, putting on makeup, or eating while driving a car.

The Liability

On top of that, insurance companies use this violation of the law against you. They will deny your claim and have the insurance company representing the other driver hold you at fault. Even in scenarios where you’re hit by a drunk driver or a red-light runner, you may still be responsible for the accident.

Even in cases where your teenager doesn’t get into an accident, a simple ticket reported to your insurer can raise your premiums.

As you probably know, insurance coverage for a teenage driver is already very high.

Do You Have Teenagers Texting and Driving?

If you have teenagers texting and driving and they’ve already gotten into an accident, you may need to contact a lawyer immediately.

Because they’ll likely be at fault for the accident (depending on the circumstances), there’s a good chance car insurance won’t cover the damages they’ve made to the other vehicle and person(s) involved.

In this case, you’ll need a lawyer to represent you in a civil or a potential criminal suit. If you think you need legal representation, considering contacting us.

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3 Essential Tips To Stay Safe While Driving on Snow and Ice

auto accident attorney SpokaneAn average of 800 Americans die each year from car accidents that are the direct result of winter weather.

Snow and ice not only make the roads slippery and unpredictable, but they can also reek havoc on the normal functions of your car if not properly prepared.

There are steps you can take to help protect you and your family out on the road this winter.

As your auto accident attorney Spokane, I’ve compiled a list of 3 essential tips to keep you safe while driving on snow and ice.

Your Auto Accident Attorney Spokane Recommends Preparation

One of the best things you can do to keep you and your family safe in the car this winter is to make sure your car is winter ready before you hit the road.

This means scheduling a maintenance check, having the oil changed, checking tire pressure and tread, replacing wipers, and ensuring that the heat/defrost system is in working order.

You also want to make sure that your battery is fully charged and reliable.

Having an emergency kit in the car is also part of car preparation. Warm clothes, blankets, and a flashlight with extra batteries are all essentials that could come in handy during a time of crisis.

Practice Safe Driving

Now that your car is prepped, the next essential tip to driving in winter conditions is practicing safe driving.

Much like driving in the rain, driving on snow and ice requires slow, safe, and controlled driving. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not tailgate cars
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Use your headlights
  • Keep aware of your surroundings
  • Keep yourself free of distractions such as texting, phone calls, and radio

When driving, you should slow at corners and maintain a safe, controlled speed.

You should also be aware of any fallen debris such as branches and sticks, but also aware of slower moving vehicles such as snowplows.

Handling Duress

The last essential tip to driving in winter conditions is to know how to handle duress should you find yourself in a slippery situation.

Skidding is a possibility while driving on ice or snow.

It is crucial to remember that if your car begins to skid, take your foot off the gas and allow the speed to drop by itself.

Do not try to apply the brake. Doing so will likely increase skidding.

Also, keep a charged cell phone should you find yourself stranded with a dead car battery or after an accident. Many insurance companies and most states have emergency on-road car services you can contact.

It is always better to pull over to the side of the road, or even stay home, if you feel that the driving conditions are unsafe.

Stay Safe!

These essential tips will help keep you and your family safe on the road throughout the winter season.

But if you find yourself in an accident, please, contact your auto accident attorney Spokane today. We can get you the help you need.

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