Auto accidents with injuries and death represent an ongoing problem throughout Washington. While many will point to drivers who are increasingly distracted, reckless or under the influence, there are other factors that need to be considered when deciding how to enhance safety.
The rules of the road can play a major role. Changing them takes time and is the source of seemingly endless debate, but it can result in improvements with a reduction in accidents. As these decisions are made, people should be aware of the risks they face. It is also useful to know what can be done in the aftermath of an accident.
New limits on right turns at red lights
On many Seattle roads, drivers can make right turns when there is a red light. Recently, the Seattle Department of Transportation has been reducing the number of roads where this is allowed. This is due to the number of accidents with injuries and death that have been happening. Now, SDOT plans to lower the number even further.
For more than 60 years, new signals would let drivers turn right on red. With every new traffic signal installed or upgraded intersection, drivers will not be able to turn right on a red light.
In 2022, there were 750 road fatalities in the state. This is the worst total in more than three decades. The first three months of 2023 show even more ominous signs with a higher number of fatalities for that time-frame than in 2022. Statistics show that vehicles turning right on red led to 20% of accidents in which a bicyclist or a pedestrian was hit.
Seattle roads remain dangerous and people should have help after an accident
Changes take time to implement and people still need to be vigilant when they are crossing the street, especially in locations where drivers can turn on red. When there is an accident at an intersection, a vehicle making this type of turn could have been a reason.
No matter how a crash happens, people may face medical costs, long-term damage, problems returning to work and difficulties handling everyday tasks. It is essential to have help in deciding on the next step and discussing the situation with professionals who are experienced in auto accidents can be crucial.