Big Rig Accidents in Washington

Big Rig Accidents in Washington

Washington law requires a Police Traffic Collision Report, PTCR, be completed and submitted whenever a crash occurs with an injury, death or property damage of more than $1,000. The data collected in these reports is utilized by safety agencies including the Washington State Department of Transportation, WSDOT. The information is utilized to review and analyze crash statistics and to implement better safety plans to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.

In 2015, the most recent published report, an accident happened every 4.5 minutes in Washington. A person died in a collision every 16 hours. According to data, the highest number of crashes happened on Fridays with the most frequent occurrences in December, when 401 happened per day. Inattention was the most commonly reported factor that contributed to accidents in the state. There was a total of 117,053 collisions which resulted in 551 deaths and 49,505 injuries.

Large Truck Crashes

In 2015 there were 6,091 accidents involving heavy or large trucks. Of that number, 38 were fatal, 85 serious injuries and 1,352 minor injuries. 4,565 involved property damage only. There are various contributing factors that could be attributed to any type of accident. Common factors include:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Excessive Speed
  • Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
  • Following too Closely
  • Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
  • Improper Turn
  • Fatigued, Drowsy
  • Disregarded Traffic Signal
  • Defective Equipment

44.8% of drivers reported at least one contributing factor to their accident. Some drivers reported up to three factors that contributed to the accident. Distracted driving encompasses a variety of behaviors. Inattention resulted in 93 fatal collisions. Distraction outside the vehicle, passenger interaction, the use of handheld communication devices, adjusting the radio and eating or drinking were all common factors that were considered distracting.

Truck drivers may suffer from drowsy driving. This could occur when driving for long periods of time without rest or when traveling on long stretches of straight roads. Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol in some cases.

Collision Types

Single vehicle collisions occurred most often by running off the road, hitting an object, and overturning. Various types of multiple vehicle crashes occurred including:

  • Rear end
  • Angle
  • Sideswipe
  • Parked or stalled vehicle
  • Left turn
  • Same direction
  • Opposite direction
  • Head-on

The severity of the crash and any resulting deaths or injuries depends on how fast the vehicles are traveling and where the impact occurs, among other things.

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