Distracted Driving in Bellingham – A moment of inattention results in devastating accidents and injuries

Distracted driving accidents are on the rise in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, due to the increase of the following types of distractions:

  • Texting;
  • Using a cell phone or a smart phone;
  • Eating and drinking;
  • Talking to passengers;
  • Using a navigation system;
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.

All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.It takes just a split second for a distracted driver to cause serious injuries and even death.

Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats has helped many clients who were victims of distracted drivers

Bill has seen that these drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers, and their driving behavior can be just as erratic. And when an accident happens, the outcome can be just as devastating.

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed in a collision with a distracted driver, you need experienced legal help. To learn about your options and rights, contact Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats today by calling (360) 392-2833 or by completing this confidential contact form.

Recent statistics show how common distracted driving is in the U.S.

The government’s website, Distraction.gov, offers insight into how common distracted driving is:

  • An estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver;
  • At any given time, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving;
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.


Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats has focuses on personal injury claims against distracted drivers for 20 years

Bill has worked with many clients who were seriously injured in accidents with distracted drivers. He understands that along with the injuries, medical treatments, and bills a victim must deal with, there is as sense of anger and frustration that a driver engaged in dangerous behavior that caused the collision.

Contact Bill to learn more about your potential claim, and what your rights are as you recover from a collision with a distracted driver. You can reach Bill by calling (360) 392-2833 or by completing this confidential contact form.

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Semi Tractor Trailer and Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury


Distracted Driving emphasis patrols operating now

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. To celebrate, Washington State Patrol is conducting "emphasis patrols" targeting this behavior on Washington roads. If you're traveling on highways that cross Bellingham, and that is pretty much all of us, then you've likely already passed an officer on the lookout for offenders. 

What is distracted driving? There are a few ways to answer it. 

Here's the definition, from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

read more

Aggressive Driving in Bellingham a Risk to All

Society is moving at a faster pace. The increased value of time is causing some drivers to be much more aggressive on the road, especially during the morning and evening commute. Some crazy, reckless drivers only see the traffic ahead of them as an obstacle to overcome at any cost. When we couple this with society's becoming accustomed to instantaneous communications, the problem only gets worse. This dangerous attitude can place those who share the roadway in jeopardy of serious injury.

read more

How to handle tailgating in Whatcom County

It’s amazing how simple it is to get a driver’s license. Passing a written exam plus a white-knuckled few turns around the neighborhood near the DMV is about all it takes to get a license. And yet the average American commuter spends 38 hours per year on the road. It seems to me that we should have better training on how to drive if we’ll be doing so much of it. Unfortunately, all too often the first time drivers have to practice accident-avoidance skills is the time they’re in one. Knowledge and practice can put the odds in their favor.

read more

Teen car crashes rise after Memorial Day

Research has found that the 100 days after Memorial Day are the most dangerous, as the number of people killed in a car accident involving teen drivers increases drastically. A majority of these car wrecks involved distractions behind the wheel. The study done by the AAA Foundation and the University of Idaho revealed that 60 percent of crashes were caused by texting or checking emails. 50 percent of teens admitted to doing these actions as well.

Each year, about 1,022 people die in car accidents involving a teen driver.

read more

We have to get creative to find ways to prevent distracted driving

Distracted driving is as big of a problem as drunk driving – if not bigger. Few people drink all day, but on average, each American checks his or her phone 80 times per day. That means Americans can't go twelve minutes without checking their phone, according to this article on distracted driving. Chances are, most Americans are going to spend some of that time driving. And if you check your phone while you’re driving, it's like you’re driving with your eyes closed for five seconds.

read more

Three weeks until we draw scholarship winners

For all Whatcom and Skagit County area high school students, the time to send in your entry for our scholarship contest is now! The deadline is fast approaching, and winners will get a cash prize! Here are six reasons to enter:

1. Did you catch the part about free money?

2. It's easy. All it takes is at least 45 seconds of your time to make a video. Okay, planning out a winning entry will probably take a little more time than under a minute, but the final product need only be at least 45 seconds long. 

read more