Driving Tips

Red Right Turn Arrows in Seattle Confuse Everyone

The city of Seattle is notoriously bad at all things related to traffic. There is so much poor planning on the part of the department of transportation in Seattle and Washington that it is no surprise that we are one of the worst cities for traffic in the US, number 6 in the US according to US News in 2015.

What adds to the traffic is poor street sign design and implementation. Most people see red turn arrows and think that they cannot turn in the direction of the arrow when it is red. I was just sitting behind someone in traffic today that had a red turn arrow and mistakenly believed that they could not turn right on red. I let her know that she could turn right by honking my horn a couple of times, the polite thing to do, right?

Contrary to common belief, you can turn right on a red turn arrow. A red turn arrow is treated like a normal red light stop light. You must stop at the light and then proceed to make your turn if traffic is clear.

The only time where you are not allowed to turn right on a red turn arrow is when there is another sign that states no turn on red.

Here is the law in Washington State on red turn arrows:

Washington State RCW 46.61.055(3)(c)​ Vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may not enter the intersection control area to make the movement indicated by such arrow, and unless entering the intersection control area to make such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a crosswalk on the near side of the intersection control area, or if none, then before entering the intersection control area and shall remain standing until an indication to make the movement indicated by such arrow is shown.However, the vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may, after stopping proceed to make a right turn from a one-way or two-way street into a two-way street or into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn; or a left turn from a one-way street or two-way street into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn; unless a sign posted by competent authority prohibits such movement. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall remain stopped to allow other vehicles lawfully within or approaching the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall also remain stopped for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

Why then put a red turn signal stop sign if it acts exactly like another red light? To confuse people? I think the reasoning behind placing in the red turn arrow was to let people know you can only turn right in this lane. However, this just confuses people more and causes traffic to bottle neck up.

If you are injured in a car accident by someone turning into your car, you need a Seattle personal injury lawyer. Call today for a free consultation to see how a car accident injury lawyer can help you out. (206) 850-6716

Andrew CherinRed Right Turn Arrows in Seattle Confuse Everyone
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Can honking your horn get you a ticket?

The other day my wife told me that she saw a Facebook post from a local mom’s group that someone had gotten a ticket from Seattle police for honking at someone to move on a green light. I was somewhat surprised that the person was given a ticket, as I am sure you are as well. The Facebook group said that you are only allowed to honk in emergency situations.

The law in Seattle for honking your horn is found in RCW 46.37.380. It states that the driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his or her horn but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a highway.

Since the law states that you can use your horn when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation of driving it is up to someone’s interpretation whether you were using it to make someone safe. Therefore, the judge could review the infraction and determine whether someone was acting reasonably when they honked their horn at another person who was not going on a green light. The person’s argument could be that because the light was green, they would fear that someone may rear end them if they do not start moving soon.

The law does not state that it has to be an emergency, it only states that honking the horn will insure safe operation of the car. What is safe operation of the car? Safe operation of the car could be anything, really. It could be to warn someone not to turn into them that may not see you in their blind spot in order to avoid a car accident. It could be to make someone aware of you that is trying to turn right in front of you.

What it is not, however, is something that is from road rage. You cannot honk at someone because they cut you off for incessant amount of time. One honk warning them that they might hit you should be ok. Blaring on the horn is not ok after that point. This probably also means that you cannot honk at your friend to come out of the house because you are here. Basically, you cannot honk your horn for anything other than to warn or make other drivers aware of what you are doing or what they are doing to keep each other safe, seems like a reasonable interpretation of the statute.



Andrew CherinCan honking your horn get you a ticket?
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Tailgating causes traffic not slow drivers?!

I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal from October 12, 2016 that stated that driving slow and steady in traffic is better at relieving traffic than tailgaters who are actually causing traffic jams.

The article was written around a theory by Seattle engineer William Beaty. Mr. Beaty theorized that by driving slower and leaving a gap in front of you, you can maintain your speed while allowing others to merge or exit in front of you as they please, easing bottlenecks.

The theory is that traffic jams are created when people who are not in the exit lane but need to get into the exit lane merge over at the last second but are blocked by people not allowing them in by tailgating. This causes the lane that the person trying to exit to slow down because the late merging car needs to get over first before they can go around them. This can push traffic back for miles depending on how congested traffic is at the time.

People that tailgate leave no room for people to merge into an exit lane or from an onramp, slowing down traffic behind that car. This pushes traffic back, when had they let the car merge into their lane, traffic in the last minute exiter or merger could continue to move freely without braking.

The theory is that if everyone left space for others to merge over or let people merge over as soon as they want, traffic would freely flow, assuming that everyone is driving at the same speed. Speeders, tailgaters, last minute decision makers are the ones that are actually causing traffic jams, not the slow steady moving traffic people.

Tailgating causes car accidents when the car in front of them unexpectantly has to slam on their brakes. This causes a rear end car accident and injuries to the person and backs up traffic for miles as the cars have to pull over to the side of the road or sit their waiting for ambulance, tow trucks, and or police to arrive. Car accidents can block multiple lanes and even the whole freeway depending on how severe the injuries suffered in the car accident are.

Seattle already has some of the worst traffic in the US and it is only getting worse with some estimates stating 250 people are moving into the city every day. We do not have the best bus, light rail, or train system set up to handle the large amount of people that have to commute into Seattle every day so we must learn to be better drivers and avoid car accidents as much as possible.

Popular thought is that people need to speed and shorten distance between cars in order for traffic to continue to flow. This new theory comes counter to popular thinking but could work, if everyone maintained speed and did not accelerate, allowing others to merge in front of them so that traffic continues to flow with no one hitting their brakes.

Andrew CherinTailgating causes traffic not slow drivers?!
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Should you call the police after a car accident?

If you are injured in a car accident, you absolutely should call the police to come to the scene of the crime. Many people believe that they don’t have to call the police and they shouldn’t call the police because it will take too long for them to get there and the other person seems like a nice person.

While most people are good and honest people, some people will try anything they can to get out of owing something to someone, including a car accident that will go on their record, a ticket, and increased rates. They may try to lie about how the car accident happened or lie about their name and insurance information. Police will not stand for this and get the correct information for you.

If you do not call the police to the scene of a car accident, you are setting yourself up for a he said she said battle. This can end badly for you if you are injured in a car accident but there were no other witnesses and they create a story that sounds good, especially if you rear ended them or it was a T-bone type car accident.

Generally, when someone rear ends another person, they are at fault for the car accident and subsequent injuries that are caused. However, there are situations where someone pulled out in front of them or merged into their lane that caused a rear end car accident. These situations need witnesses to prove who caused the car accident.

Calling the police to the scene of a car accident is in your best interest if the other person caused the car accident. Police can document the scene of the car accident, take down witness reports, and take down insurance information for each party.

The other person will not run when they hear the police are being called and you have their license plate number. Saying that you are calling the police to the person that caused the car accident creates a need for them to stay at the scene. This is because if they try to flea the scene, they could be charged with a felony for hit and running, depending on the damage that they caused.

Getting witness statements and phone numbers is vital to any car accident injury case. Without independent witnesses, those people not related to you or friends of yours, you will have a battle of he said she said, even when police come to the scene. It is very important that at the very least, you flag down the person driving near you to get their phone number. You may never have to use it but their information can be vital to prove what really happened in a car accident.

Andrew CherinShould you call the police after a car accident?
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Defensive Driving Tip: Drive Like People Have No Clue

Driving around the streets and highways of Seattle you come to find that most people do not know how to drive and traffic sucks. If you are driving on I-5 near Seattle, you could be going 60 mph only to come to a complete stop nearly two minutes later. This is how congested this city has become and has been with poor road designs. What makes matters worse, is when people either don’t see you and try to merge into your lane or are driving like a maniac all over the place.

Seattle Car Accidents Are Avoidable?

Some car accidents are unavoidable as just bad luck or bad timing comes into play preventing someone from seeing another person in the road. However, most car accidents are avoidable if you use common sense, are constantly aware of your surroundings, and you drive defensively.

What does it mean to drive defensively to avoid car accidents?

Defensive driving schools around the country teach you to anticipate other car’s actions. This means that when you are driving along the road and someone is driving next to you or just in front of you, always imagine them trying to merge into your lane. If you are approaching an exit ramp on I-5 in Seattle and there is a car just in front of you, anticipate them cutting in front of you at the last second to get into your lane.

When you anticipate that cars are going to try to get into your lane, you can prepare to break and leave space for them to avoid a car accident from happening. Giving just a little extra space and slowing down just slightly can be the difference between you rear ending them and not.

Avoid Driving Next to Other Cars Prevents Car Accidents

When you are driving along the freeway or on residential streets, it is important to not drive right next to another car. Driving right next to other cars puts you in their blind spots where they may assume there is no car next to them as they try to merge into your lane.

You should always try to leave some space between you and the car driving next to you. Either accelerate to get in front of them or slow down to let them get further in front of you. With all the distractions that people are dealing with these days while driving, you should anticipate that they are distracted and don’t see you.

Cars Driving Fast or Swerving Lanes – Stay Calm

You should constantly be scanning your rearview mirror for potential crazy and aggressive drivers. Too many people are driving on the road with road rage these days and trying to get to places extra fast.

If you see someone coming up behind you that is weaving in and out of lanes stay in your lane and do not try to merge lanes until they have passed you. Crazy drivers are only out for themselves and believe that the road is theirs to concur. They are trying to pass you and everyone else by getting around you. They will try to accelerate around you with little or no signal or warning. Because of this, it is better to stay in your lane until they have passed so they don’t cause a rear end car accident with you and push you into other cars.

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, please call the personal injury lawyers at Cherin Law Firm for a free consultation. Our Seattle car accident injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement so everyone can afford to hire a Seattle personal injury lawyer but you cannot afford not to hire one.

Andrew CherinDefensive Driving Tip: Drive Like People Have No Clue
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Seattle Tolls Coming to Mercer Street?!

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about New York and cities around the world looking into tolling not just freeways, but individual roads in an effort to curb traffic jams. New York is known for its heavy traffic and hustle and bustle lifestyle. New York has seen heavy traffic times create longer traffic jams slowing travel time from 6mph to 4mph on average recently in certain areas. The study cites increased ride sharing drivers and decreased road space like bike lanes as one of the causes of increased traffic.

London has had tolls on some of their major roads to help ease congestion since 2003. The Wall Street Journal stated that congestion was eased by 30% the first couple years following implementation. However, congestion has risen again with the rise of Uber and Lyft drivers who constantly circle the heaviest traffic areas and are exempt from such charges.

The city of Seattle also has traffic congestion issues not just caused by car accidents on the road. Seattle has much more people living and working in the city than ever before because of increased technology jobs booming the city which adds to the traffic. Additionally, Seattle has tried to combat traffic and pollution by cutting down lanes by adding bike lanes, which has further added to traffic times.

The city of Seattle is spending $200 million on a study this year to determine if a toll on some of it’s busiest roads would help fund city roads and ease congestion. The study most likely is targeting the ever crowded Mercer Street in Seattle that is getting busier and busier as new building continue to emerge around Amazon and other tech leading companies.

Tolling roads will most likely lead to angry drivers and congestion in other parts of the city, as many people are not satisfied with current methods of alternative transportation such as buses, bikes, and trains. The trains do not go to many smaller suburbs of the city and do not reach far enough for commuters to realistically change their habits of driving into the city. Bus times often take far longer than driving your car into the city and do not give many people the freedom that they covet. However, tolling roads would add a source of revenue to the city to fund expansion of light rail and repair city roads that are constantly falling apart.


Andrew CherinSeattle Tolls Coming to Mercer Street?!
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Seattle Rollover Car Accidents

Car crashes are one of the most common causes of injury in Seattle. However, of the most common car accidents, rollover car accidents in Seattle are some of the most deadly car accidents. Rollover car accidents are so severe because of the vulnerability of passengers inside the car and car manufacturer’s inability to create protection for people experiencing a rollover crash. Car manufacturers now how to prevent rollovers and do a good job for most cars, but they do not plan to protect people that are in a rollover because of the rarity of these type of car accidents.

Who Has a Car With Rollover Car Accidents?

The attorneys at Cherin Law Firm, PLLC, are experienced Seattle rollover car accident attorneys who know how devastating being in a rollover car accident can be. When you hire our law firm, we will open a thorough investigation into your case to determine precisely why your accident happened, the extent of damages you have suffered, and your best options for recovering your maximum settlement amount.

Passengers of Rollover Car Accidents

If you are injured in a single vehicle rollover car accident, you have a case against the driver of the car if no other car was at fault. It may seem hard to go after a loved one or friend who caused the car accident but this is why they have insurance. The insurance for the driver of the car will compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning potential, and pain and suffering. You should not feel bad going after someone’s insurance policy, you deserve this compensation and if they have insurance they will not have to pay out of pocket for your damages.

Rollover Car Accidents Caused by Others/Hit and Run

If the rollover car accident was caused by another driver who hit your car, you can go directly after their insurance. They are responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering among other damages. If it was a hit and run or the driver swerved at you, you can use your own uninsured motorist coverage to step in and cover your medical bills, lost wages, lost future earning potential, and pain and suffering.

The Deadly Nature of Rollover Car Accidents

According to SaferCar.gov, rollover car accident are dangerous and have a higher fatality rate than any other kind of car accident. Of the nearly 9.1 million passenger cars, SUVs, pickups and van crashes in 2010, only 2.1% involved a rollover. However, rollover car accidents accounted for nearly 35% of all deaths from car accidents. In 2010 alone, more than 7,600 people died in rollover crashes. The majority of them (69%) were not wearing safety belts.

Rollover car accidents are so dangers because of the possibility of being thrown out of the car or having a limb sticking outside of the car that gets crushed. It gets even higher when people are not wearing their seat belts of course. The jostling around inside the car can cause significant injury to the passengers inside the car and driver, as they can hit body parts inside the car or SUV than can cause severe injuries and brain damage.

Causes of Rollover Car Accidents

As you would assume, SUV’s and trucks are at a higher risk for a rollover collision than any other type of vehicle. Also, unsurprising is other factors involved in a rollover including vehicle speed and going around corners.  The Department of Transportation did a study to determine what factors were the biggest indicator of whether a car would be involved in a rollover car accident. They found out the the determining factors included the size of the vehicle, the type of road that a car was on, high speed or speed faster than conditions warrant, and alcohol usage was at play.

Alcohol Plays Major Roll In Rollover Accidents

People who are drinking alcohol are more likely to speed and drive erratic. Additionally, their reaction times are limited because of the alcohol usage so they may turn too late going at high speed and cause a rollover crash injuring all people involved in the collision.



Andrew CherinSeattle Rollover Car Accidents
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Road Rage in Seattle Peaks at This Time?

There is nothing more dangerous than someone with road rage against another driver with road rage in Seattle. Road rage on road rage creates an atmosphere conducive to a high probability of a car accident in Seattle with substantial injuries.

Road rage is generally caused when someone is already agitated because they are under a lot of stress in one way or another. Something that creates a lot of stress is driving in traffic on your way home after a long day at work with a lot of stress. This means that the peak time that someone will experience road rage is generally from 4-6pm when people are commuting home from work in Seattle.

An online study by Auto Insurance Center found that over 65,000 Instagram posts with the hashtag #RoadRage. They found that use of the tag peaks at 6:00 pm, presumably around the hour when commuters are stuck in traffic or just getting home. Washington state is 10th in the nation for drivers using that hashtag; Seattle is the 12th most prolific city when it comes to complaining about road rage, ranking above more famously angry drivers in Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Beverly Hills, and Hoboken.

Road rage usually starts where one person feels slighted by another person’s driving act. It could be as simple as someone not using their turn signal when merging into the lane in front of you, cutting you off, driving fast, or more. When someone is already agitated and under a lot of stress, they may react by trying to get back at the other driver by driving fast to pass them. Once they pass them, they usually do the same thing that the other driver did to them and that they believe was done on purpose.

Things get really dangerous when the second person gets road rage back. This creates a battle of who has the bigger ego and who is the better driver, in a sense. The person that originally created the original slight may feel slighted and then proceed to drive fast to cut off the other person only to hit their brakes, or brake check them.

This behavior is extremely dangerous and causes a high likelihood of a car accident injury case to those around them and themselves. Usually when two drivers get road rage at each other, everyone else around them and those in their car are not even their in the road rage person’s eyes, only the other road rage driver. Road rage drivers will try to get back at the other driver until they have the last say and are vindicated for their actions, in a way.

I have personally seen road rage drivers swerve across four lanes of traffic to block or chase the other driver, with both drivers swerving across traffic without regard to anyone else on the road. Often times these drivers are driving at a high speed, which means one false move and there will be a big injury car accident.

Just four days ago near Seattle, a 60 year old man driving a car and a woman driving a motorcycle engaged in road rage with each other. This ended with the woman shooting the man and killing him. It is not just men engaging in road rage, it is woman too. Cars are dangerous killing machines capable of inflicting major damages to those injured in car accidents, yet we don’t always think of them that way because of the routine driving we do.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call a Seattle car accident injury lawyer today for a free consultation. A Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to walk you through your case and figure out what you are entitled to.

Andrew CherinRoad Rage in Seattle Peaks at This Time?
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Water causing a car accident – whose fault?

This is the rainy season in Seattle and there is no shortage of water on the road. Seattle wet weather plus Seattle aggressive driving equals car accidents. It is a fact that people in Seattle drive way too fast in the rain. These people must not have been in a car accident yet because if they have been in one they would drive much slower in the rain. Whose fault is the car accident if you drive and slide out because of the rain?

Sliding out or hydroplaning in the rain, is a term that describes cars losing traction with the ground. A car generally loses traction to the ground in wet weather where the car is driving too fast for conditions and there is too much water on the ground.

There is actually a law in Seattle that makes it illegal to drive too fast for conditions. The law states that – “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.”

Heavy rain qualifies as a potential hazard which requires you to drive slower than the speed limit. A reasonable and prudent person would drive slower if there is heavy rain and water standing on the road.

Therefore, if you hydroplane into another car, you are at fault for the personal injuries that the other person may suffer because of you driving too fast for conditions. Your insurance will cover any injuries and damage that the other person suffered in the car accident. If you have been injured, please contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer immediately for a free consultation.

RCW 46.61.400

Basic rule and maximum limits.

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
(2) Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (1) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits.
(a) Twenty-five miles per hour on city and town streets;
(b) Fifty miles per hour on county roads;
(c) Sixty miles per hour on state highways.
The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in RCW 46.61.40546.61.410, and46.61.415.
(3) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
Andrew CherinWater causing a car accident – whose fault?
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Do baby on board stickers work or hurt?

You know the stickers. You have seen them everywhere. They are usually in the back corner of the rear windshield and is yellow stating baby on board. Does it help people avoid Seattle car accidents? Does it save babies lives in car accidents? What affect does it have on people driving?

Notify Emergency Personnel: The biggest reason people put the baby on board sticker on their cars is in a car accident injury situation to give emergency responders notice that there is a baby in the car so please come to this car first to check on the baby. Another thought is that the baby on board sticker alerts the first responders to not forget about the baby in case there is a car accident and people are injured.

People Drive Slower: Baby on board stickers are good because they can warn people around them to drive carefully because there is a baby on board. This will help them avoid car accidents because Seattle drivers will drive more carefully around them. The thought is that people will drive more carefully around these cars because they want to protect the baby, they have had their own baby and know how important and fragile babies are, or that the person driving the car with a baby has a lot to think about so they may drive a little more erratic with a baby or young children screaming, throwing things, or otherwise distracting them.

Make Moms a Target: Some moms in mom groups believe that baby on board stickers actually puts a target on their car for thieves and potential kidnappers. For this reason, some moms will shy away from putting the baby on board sticker on their car. Mom groups also think that the sign will be a target for stalkers to stalk you and learn your daily routine to steal away your baby or make you an easy target. However, many moms in these forums point out that you can just as easily tell a baby is in the car with the huge car seat in the back seat so the sticker is not a big giveaway as you might think.

Distraction: There is one thought posted in a British website that baby on board stickers actually cause more car accidents because some people fashion the baby on board sticker in a spot that blocks the driver’s view out the back window. Most people know to place stickers that do not block their view in a car so that you can see out the back window. However, if the sticker is placed in an area that blocks part of that view, a Seattle car accident can occur because you may not see someone coming up behind you as you want to switch lanes.

It seems that the best reason to have the sticker is for emergency personnel to go to your car first to check on the baby, who may be more prone to being injured in a Seattle car accident. Additionally, you may see the added benefit of people driving slower and more cautious around you. I mean, who wants to cut off a car with a baby or drive erratic around them? No one.

If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident, call a Seattle personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation. Seattle car accident injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement so everyone can afford one but you can’t afford not to have one.


Andrew CherinDo baby on board stickers work or hurt?
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