auto accident

Driver Killed Trying to Avoid Road Debris

One person was killed and a second seriously injured in a head-on crash on State Route 18, at SE 104th Street near the Tiger Mountain Summit. Washington State Patrol Troopers say that the crash appears to have been caused by a metal driveline, typically found underneath cars, skidding down the highway. It slammed into a sedan traveling in the westbound lane, causing the driver to swerve and spin into the oncoming traffic. The car was then struck by a small SUV heading eastbound on Highway 18.

The woman driving the car died in the crash and the woman driving the SUV was taken to Overlake Hospital in serious condition.

The State Patrol said it doesn’t know where the driveline came from as there were no disabled cars in the area.

“It is an unfortunate circumstance, so we’re just trying to figure out where this came from,” said Trooper Rick Johnson. “That’s under investigation where that driveline came from. There’s a couple of different possibilities. If it were a driveline from a vehicle, it most likely would be disabled, but from what I understand there are other options where a driveline can be lost.”

Investigators said if the driveline came from a load that wasn’t properly secured, that is a violation of the law, though troopers add they are still looking at how it came off and want to rule out all possibilities.

Road Debris Causing Auto Accidents

Across the country, there are over 25,000 accidents and approximately 8,000 deaths caused by road debris every year. Many view these types of car accidents as freak occurrences, but the outcome and results of such accidents can be very unfortunate, and made even more tragic, knowing that it likely could have been prevented.

Washington State Troopers and investigators are now working to solve the puzzle of how a heavy metal driveline happened to be skidding down a busy highway during the commute home yesterday. By law, items need to be properly secured when being hauled or transported on the road. When items fall from or out of vehicles due to any number of reasons, it can result in an auto accident that can either be minor or something very serious–even fatal–depending on the types of items being transported.

Anyone driving on the open road can see the potentially dangerous debris that randomly litters the easement and ditches. Some of the notable debris might even include tires, ladders, mattresses, lumber or pallets, and construction equipment.  Even small items that accidentally fall out of a truck bed can lead to serious problems; and given the location and driver’s speed, any of these objects can become lethal in the right circumstances.

Debri On Road

Cover it, Secure it, Strap it Down

Safety regulations and the law define and dictate how payloads are secured and transported. All items are required to be properly strapped down or covered. There are high fines and consequences for companies or individuals who violate these rules. This kind of negligence puts every driver at risk.

Unfortunately, offending transporters often aren’t aware they’ve lost part of their load until it’s too late and tragedy has struck. Sometimes there are no clues as to who the responsible party may be, but sometimes there are identifiable marks and means to finding the wayward transporter.

Avoiding Looming Danger

AAA encourages drivers to educate themselves about specific road debris laws in their state. Although somewhat rare, drivers should always practice defensive driving techniques while on the road to prevent debris related crashes from occurring.

“Continually searching the road at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead can help drivers be prepared in the case of debris,” said William Van Tassel, Manager of Driver Training Programs for AAA. “Always try to maintain open space on at least one side of your vehicle in case you need to steer around an object. If you see you are unable to avoid debris on the roadway, safely reduce your speed as much as possible before making contact.”

Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by possible negligence or road debris, call Fielding Law Group today for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.  When another motorist acted negligently, violated the law, or failed to properly secure their load, we can help you recover and receive the compensation you deserve. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!