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Seattle Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

Accomplished representation for the victims of distracted driving in Washington

Washington is home to computers, smartphones, and much of the technology we take for granted. That knowledge isn’t always a good thing. Too many car accidents happen across Washington state because drivers are texting while driving, looking at a GPS, or chatting on their smartphones. Distracted driving isn’t confined to just technology. Eating, drinking, and many activities take a driver’s mind off traffic and eyes of the road. At Smith McBroom, we understand how to show the driver who struck you was distracted. Our Seattle distracted driving lawyers hold distracted drivers accountable for your financial damages and personal suffering. Call us for help today.

Free Case Evaluation

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What driving conduct is considered distracted driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of driving. Distracted driving includes any conduct that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off traffic, and hands off the steering wheel.

The most dangerous type of distracted driving is texting while driving. Just taking five seconds to read or send a text while a driver is traveling at 55 mph is like driving the full length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Other examples of distracted driving include:

  • Talking on a phone while driving
  • Drinking or eating while driving
  • Looking at a GPS
  • Looking at or adjusting the radio or any entertainment system in the care
  • Adjusting the heat or air while driving
  • Focusing on a child or a pet
  • Brushing one’s hair while driving
  • Smoking while driving

There’s no activity that shouldn’t be completed before driving or when the trip is finished.

Why is distracted driving so dangerous?

The NHTSA reported that 3,308 people died on US roads in 2022 due to distracted driving.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that in 2019, one in five people who died in fatal car accidents were pedestrians, bicycle riders, and people outside of any vehicle. The age group most likely to drive while distracted is the 15- to 20-year-old age group. Nearly two in five teenagers in a 2019 survey admitted to texting or emailing while driving in the prior 30 days.

The CDC emphasizes that parents need to take a much more active role in educating their children about the dangers of distracted driving.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reported in 2024 that nine percent of drivers in Washington drove while distracted. The Commission states that distracted driving occurs most on country roads with speed limits between 40-45 mph. Across Washington, “drivers were more likely to drive distracted in less fair weather (rain/fog) than in fair weather.”

What Washington state laws regulate distracted driving?

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission states that:

Washington law RCW 46.61.672 bans all hand-held personal devices used while driving. The ban applies even when a driver is stopped in traffic but does not include a driver who has pulled safely off the road. The offense is a primary offense, which means an officer can cite a driver without having to observe another traffic offense like speeding. Some exceptions, such as contacting emergency services, apply. Personal devices include cell phones, laptops, electronic games, and two-way messaging devices. “Use includes reading, sending accessing, and viewing any electronic data including using a finger or hand for these purposes.” Watching videos is also illegal in Washington.

RCW 46.61.673 defines “dangerously distracted driving” as engaging in any activity “not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of such motor vehicle on any highway.” This offense is a secondary offense.

Other Washington laws ban texting while driving and all cell phone use by novice drivers.

How do your lawyers prove a driver was distracted?

At Smith McBroom, our Seattle lawyers understand how to show that the driver who struck your car was driving while distracted. Some steps we take include:

  • Reviewing the cell phone records and any other electronic information the driver was using during the trip that resulted in your accident
  • Examining black boxes, which many trucks use
  • Talking to the police who were called to the scene of the accident
  • Having investigators speak to witnesses and question whether there are any video surveillance images
  • Questioning the driver and any passengers about what was taking place before and during the accident through written and oral questions
  • Examining the car damage, which can indicate how the accident happened

There is no requirement that the driver who struck you be cited by the police. Other factors such as speeding, driver fatigue, and drunk driving can also support your claim that the driver who struck you was negligent.

You can trust that our Seattle distracted driving lawyers can show how the accident occurred and why the driver is liable.

Who is responsible for my distracted driving accident in Seattle?

Our Seattle car accident lawyers file personal injury and wrongful death claims against every person or company responsible for a distracted driving accident. Responsible parties may include:

  • The driver of the vehicle that struck you
  • The employer of the driver, such as when the distracted driver was delivering food or consumer goods
  • The owner of the vehicle, such as when parents give their teenager permission to use their car
  • Any other companies, such as truck companies that had the authority to monitor the driver’s actions.

What steps should be taken to avoid distracted driving?

There’s no excuse for distracted driving in Seattle. Parents, employers, and even state and local governments should take proactive steps to reduce the risk of distracted driving:

  • State and local governments. In addition to driver distraction laws, many states have graduated licensing programs to ensure young drivers have enough driving experience with an adult before they can drive on their own. Local governments like the City of Seattle could help by passing stronger ordinances. Both states and local governments can help with the education of younger drivers.
  • Parents. Parents should explain that the rules for using their car are no cell phone use and explain the dangers of distracted driving. Parents should ensure that young children are properly secured before beginning their trip.
  • Employers. Employers should monitor their drivers to ensure they are focused on traffic and not looking at a GPS or engaging in other forms of distraction.

Drivers of all ages should plan their trip before they start driving. Drivers should eat before the trip starts or when it ends. Pets should be secured. Conversations should never include turning to look at the passengers.

Do you have a Seattle distracted driving accident lawyer near me?

Smith McBroom meets clients at our Seattle office at 16400 Southcenter Parkway Suite 210. We make alternate arrangements when necessary, such as when a client is too injured to come to our office. We also conduct phone and online consultations.

Our lawyers will answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and fight for all the compensation you deserve.

Call our experienced Seattle distracted driving lawyers now

It just takes a second of inattention for an accident to occur. There’s no phone call, no text, no sandwich that can’t wait until a driver gets home or pulls into a rest stop. At Smith McBroom, we hold irresponsible drivers accountable for prioritizing their needs over your safety. Our Seattle car accident lawyers are skilled at showing the driver who struck you was distracted. We seek compensation for all your injuries. We also represent families when a loved one dies due to distracted driving.

Call us or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We’ve helped many accident victims like you obtain strong recoveries. We represent distracted driving victims in Tukwila, Seattle, and across Washington state.