The Washington State Patrol issued a statement noting that accidents involving cars and semi-trucks has increased in the last few years. In Yakima County, in 2013, there were 49 such accidents – but that increased to 132 in 2016. In Kittitas County, 67 collisions with semi trucks increased to 120 collisions.
The state patrol states that the most common causes of accidents with semi-trucks is due to: speed, inattention, following too closely, distracted driving, and defective equipment.
Some key tips to remember when driving near a semi is to make sure you leave space all around the truck. When you are behind the truck stay far back enough so that the driver can see you. If you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you. When you pass a truck, make sure you drive a full semi-truck length ahead of the truck before moving back over into the same lane as the truck.
REMEMBER: If you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you.
One common type of accident we see in the city is that a truck will be making a right hand turn and leave extra space on its right. An unsuspecting driver will come up on the right as the truck is turning and get caught between the truck and a curb.
If you are involved in an accident with a truck, you should document everything the same as with a car, such as getting the insurance and driver information. You should also take pictures of the truck, so it can be easier to keep track of which company the driver was working for.
Cases against trucking companies can be a bit more complicated than with a car. When we work on a case involving a semi-truck, we have to look deeper into the cause of the accident. Often times, this means looking at the maintenance and drivers logs for the vehicle. We need to determine if the driver was working longer than he/she should have, and whether the vehicle was maintained properly. Other things, such as the truck weight and how the cargo was secured can become relevant to determining liability.
If you have further questions about the legal process and you’re located in Snohomish county or surrounding areas, we can help! Call or text us today for a free consultation.