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What are the common causes of car accidents in Washington?

Time and time again, this blog has focused on car accidents that have resulted in injuries around Washington State. As these posts have shown, car accidents frequently lead to serious injuries, unexpected costs and legal battles. In many of these situations, police officers are still working to figure out why the accident occurred and what could have been done to prevent it.

According to the 2012 Washington State Annual Collision Summary, there are a number of driver caused contributing circumstances that lead to accidents around the state. In 2012 -- the most recent year for final data -- in accidents between two vehicles, at least one contributing circumstance was present in 46 percent of cases. In 10 percent of cases, two circumstances were present and in 1 percent of accidents, three contributing circumstances were present. However, in car accidents between vehicles and non-motorists, at least one contributing circumstance was present in 51 percent of cases.

The report outlines many different types of contributing factors, including excessive speed, driver distractions, driving under the influence, driver fatigue, following too closely, improper passing, failing to signal, defective equipment, failure to yield, disregarding stop signs and more. Excessive speed was a contributing factor in the largest number of accidents -- 20,819.

Distracted driving included factors, such as smoking, eating, using a handheld device, interacting with passengers and outside distractions. Distracted driving was responsible for more than 18,000 car accidents.

It may be important for those injured in car accidents to understand all the contributing factors that may have caused the accident because many may point to driver negligence. If a driver was negligent in causing an accident, then that driver may be held financially responsible for the damage.

Source: Washington State Department of Transportation, "2012 Washington State Annual Collision Summary," accessed on Aug. 24, 2014

Source: Washington State Department of Transportation, "2012 Washington State Annual Collision Summary," accessed on Aug. 24, 2014

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