Failure to Secure a Load Leads to Fatality
Debris of any kind that lands on the roadway is a serious safety hazard. Every year in North America, road litter causes 25,000 accidents and almost 100 fatalities. Washington State has more than 400 accidents annually caused by road debris; failure to secure a load is a common part of this problem. Many of these accidents and injuries could be prevented by properly securing a load.
Typically, debris ends up on the road because it is either not loaded properly or secured properly and then goes flying when the vehicle is moving. When material of any kind falls off of a vehicle because it isn’t properly secured, it is littering. According to Washington State Patrol Records, approximately 37 percent of all litter-related citations issued by Washington State Patrol are for a failure to secure a load. An additional 22 percent of citations are issued for debris escaping from loads.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by another driver’s failure to secure a load, contact a local car accident lawyer for help. The injury attorney can discuss your legal rights and any appropriate next steps to ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement for your losses.
Failure to secure a load leads to fatality
As reported by fox19.com, a 20-year-old driver was killed in Mountlake Terrace, Washington after a loose mattress fell off a pickup truck and crashed into her car. According to Washington State troopers, the mattress fell off a truck on I-5 the morning of Saturday March 12, hitting the woman’s car and causing her to lose control of the vehicle. A semi-truck that was following behind the car T-boned it, tragically killing the 20-year-old female driver.
The driver of the pickup truck fled the scene. If caught, they could face up to a year in jail.
Failure to secure a load is illegal in Washington State
Washington was one of the first states to pass a law that made unsecured loads illegal. The law, which was passed in 2005, is called “Maria’s Law” after Maria Federici. Maria was just 24-years-old when a piece of wood fell off a trailer and crashed through her windshield, leaving her blind.
Washington State law RCW 46.61.655 specifically states that “No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking or otherwise escaping…” Put simply, traveling with an unsecured load is against the law. If any part of your load can escape your vehicle; you can be ticketed — even if it doesn’t escape. If something being hauled on a truck, trailer or vehicle does fly off or leak out and harms or damages a person or property; a stiff penalty may be issued. Tickets from Washington State Patrol and local police can cost up to several thousand dollars; in serious cases, a person may even spend time in jail. If you arrive at a landfill or transfer station with an unsecured load of garbage, you will be charged extra. Note that some communities have stricter load ordinances that go beyond the state law, requiring loads to be covered. Check with local authorities to be sure you are in compliance.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!