Deer Park residents are familiar to rural highway driving, and have seen their share of multiple vehicle accidents. The city is one of many small communities that dot U.S. 395 north of Spokane, and the residents rely on 395 to get in and out of their city.
With rural driving, multiple car accidents become all too common. The reason for this is nature of rural roads and the challenges they pose to drivers. Most rural highway are two lanes, undivided with no median or barrier and have a speed limit of 55+. The difficulty is that these roads are narrow, and only a few feet separate cars passing by each other at 110+ miles in differential speed.
Five Injured in Multi-Car Crash in Deer Park
For example, on July 30, 2019, five cars collided in a chain-reaction accident on U.S. 395 in Deep Park, Washington. The accident started when one car rear-ended the other and then glanced across the center line into oncoming traffic. This car struck an oncoming car, and then a tractor trailer struck both of those cars.
Four occupants of the cars involved in the crash were taken to a local hospital, some with serious injuries. Washington State Troopers haven’t given out any other details in the crash as it’s still under investigation.
Rural Driving Accidents
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2015 there were 35,000 traffic fatalities and rural areas accounted for 53 percent of them, yet rural driving comprises on only 30 percent of all driving in the U.S.
The reasons for this are many, but the primary reason is the dynamics of driving on rural roads. One moment’s distraction is all that’s needed to be involved in a devastating accident. Because of the high speeds, proximity to oncoming cars and narrow lanes and shoulders, it doesn’t take much of a distraction to either cross the center line or drive off the road and into a ditch or down an embankment.
Factors that Cause Multi-Car Collisions
In small towns like Deer Park, residents are fully aware of the dangers of driving on rural roads and highways. If they have been driving for a significant length of time, most have had near-misses or have seen the carnage of a rural highway, multi-vehicle wreck.
There are many reasons a multi-car crash happens on a rural highway. Some of the most common are:
- Center line drift: A moment’s distraction can send a vehicle across the center line into a head-on collision. This often spawns a chain reaction or pile-up crash.
- Leaving the Roadway: A simple nod of the head in a curve and a car can leave the roadway. When this happens, it’s common for the driver to wake up and then overcorrect and hit one or more cars.
- Rollover Crash: A rollover crash is especially dangerous and can happen in many ways especially when the cars are at high speeds. Rollovers often involve other vehicles who are hit by the vehicle or by oncoming cars which are unable to stop once the car has settled.
- Speeding: High speed always increases the risk of a collision, and on rural, undivided roads, if a car is at high speeds and comes upon slower vehicles, sometimes there isn’t anywhere to go. Also, curves and narrow shoulders can contribute to a high-speed crash.
What do I do if I’m Involved in a Rural Multi-Car Crash?
The best thing to do is to talk to an attorney once you’ve taken care of your immediate medical needs. Until you do speak to an attorney, don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company or their lawyers. It’s their job to pay you little or nothing.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we offer a free consultation where you can be advised of your rights. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to deal with the insurance companies and the skill and knowledge to get you the maximum compensation allowed under the law. Call us at (509) 926 4900 or send us a message.