Many Bellingham drivers wonder how safe it is to drive out there, even when roads aren’t icy from this latest cold snap. The good news, our state is one of the safest in the country. But the bad news is there is evidence that we are a nation of bad drivers. In fact, our country ranks 60th out of 180 in auto fatalities. Closer to home, Washington state experienced a 23% increase in fatalities from 2014-2015. 94% of these crashes were due to human error, which means they were entirely preventable. When you think of how often the average person is on his or her phone, even while driving or walking across a road, this news is not surprising.

Doug Dahl, the Target Zero Manager for Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force, observes:

It seems that part of the reason we have so many traffic fatalities is because we’ve come to accept it as an unavoidable cost of car ownership. Consider this: If we experienced 35,092 fatalities a year in air travel, that would be more than a fully loaded 747 crashing every week. How many weeks would it take before the Federal Aviation Administration grounded every plane and searched for a solution to the problem?

He makes a good point. It seems that auto fatalities are thought of as a fact of life, something that goes with the territory of living in a car-centric place. But since nearly every accident is preventable, is that true? For more from Doug, visit his article in the Herald about reducing auto accidents.

I understand that none of this matters to someone recovering from an auto accident, or to the friends and family of someone who died because of someone else’s negligence, such as distracted driving. If you’re in that unfortunate situation, you need help navigating the complicated legal system to get justice done. Don’t let the auto insurance companies take advantage of you during one of the hardest times of your life. Call me and I’ll help you get the financial compensation you deserve for your loss.

 

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