Distracted Delivery Drivers in Washington: The Dangers of Digital Devices on the Road

Distracted driving is a major problem across the United States, contributing to thousands of accidents and injuries each year. For delivery drivers, staying focused on the road is especially critical as they spend so much time behind the wheel for work. Unfortunately, many delivery drivers engage in distracted driving by talking or texting on cell phones, adjusting music or GPS systems, eating, and more. In Washington State, distracted driving laws apply to all motorists, including professional delivery drivers.

Distracted Driving Laws in Washington

Washington was one of the first states to pass a law banning handheld cell phone use while driving. This law went into effect in 2008. Under RCW 46.61.667, it is illegal for all drivers to hold and use a cell phone or other electronic device while operating a vehicle on public roads. Hands-free technology like Bluetooth headsets is allowed. Breaking this law is a primary traffic offense, meaning police can pull drivers over when they spot this behavior.

In 2017, Washington updated its distracted driving laws to prohibit additional dangerous behaviors. Under RCW 46.61.672, it is now illegal for all drivers to use handheld electronics like phones, tablets, laptops, games, cameras, and more while driving. Handheld electronic device use is permitted only when parked and off the road.

Other distracted driving actions like eating, personal grooming, reading, adjusting music, and programming navigation systems are not specifically prohibited under Washington laws but can be cited under broader reckless/careless driving statutes if they cause unsafe driving behavior.

Dangers of Distracted Driving for Delivery Drivers

Delivery drivers spend many hours on the road each week traveling to make deliveries, pickups, and more. With all this time behind the wheel comes an increased risk if driving while distracted by devices and other activities.

Some dangers of distracted driving for delivery drivers include:

  • Increased risk of accidents: Data shows distracted drivers caused over 3300 fatal crashes and over 289,000 injury crashes in 2022 in the U.S. Delivery drivers on crowded urban roads are at high risk.
  • Difficulty staying in proper lanes: Distracted drivers may drift into other lanes or off the road, raising the chance of crashes. This is especially hazardous on winding roads.
  • Failure to notice other vehicles/pedestrians: Focusing on distractions can cause drivers to miss seeing approaching vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, leading to collisions. This is a concern in parking lots and residential areas.
  • Missing or ignoring traffic signs and signals: Distracted drivers may fail to notice stop signs, traffic lights, and other signals, running through them and causing intersections crashes.
  • Reduced response time: Distracted drivers often have delayed response times to emerging traffic situations like sudden stops, pedestrian crossings, and changing road conditions. This leads to accidents.
  • Difficulty controlling vehicle speed: Looking away from the road frequently can lead to sudden braking, speed variability, and rear-end collisions.

Tips for Safe Driving for Washington Delivery Drivers

Delivery drivers can stay safe on Washington roads and avoid distracted driving by:

  • Knowing all Washington distracted driving laws and complying with them at all times when behind the wheel.
  • Turning cell phones off or putting them on Do Not Disturb mode while driving. Let calls go to voicemail and check them when safely parked.
  • Programming navigation before starting your trip and avoiding messing with GPS maps/directions when driving.
  • Adjusting mirrors, seats, music, and climate controls before pulling out. Don’t mess with these controls when driving.
  • Avoiding eating, drinking, reading, writing, grooming, and other activities that take your eyes and attention off the road.
  • When stopped in traffic or at a light, avoiding distractions and watching what cars and pedestrians around you are doing at all times.
  • Pulling over in a safe area rather than attempting to text, take calls, check devices, or do paperwork while driving.
  • Asking a manager for help reducing driving distractions and improving safety. Follow all company safety policies.

By minimizing distractions and staying focused on the road, delivery drivers in Washington can stay safe while protecting others. Remember, driving is a full-time job.

Contact a Washington Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted delivery driver in Washington, contact the expert injury lawyers at Monge & Associates today. We fight to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages for injury victims and their families.

We have 32 offices located across 19 states, including Washington, Georgia, and Colorado. Call us now on (888) 477-0597 for a free consultation.