When driving, it’s important to change lanes safely. Remember that there are other drivers on the road and you cannot rely on your mirrors. Sometimes you need to turn your head to make sure you don’t crash into other drivers while merging into an adjacent lane.
While this driving rule may seem common sense, it wasn’t to a Washington man who recently caused a four-car accident due to his negligence. The 29-year-old Washougal man was allegedly attempting to change lanes while in the right-hand northbound lane on I-205 on March 12 when he crashed and caused a chain of events.
The man, who had an 18-year-old passenger in his vehicle, crashed his Toyota truck into a Lexus driven by a 60-year-old woman. She had two children in her vehicle at the time, ages 3 and 14. The Lexus then hit a Subaru driven by a 41-year-old man. The man who caused the accident rolled and ended up going in the opposite direction. He was hit by a 68-year-old Vancouver man, with the two trucks colliding head on.
The Vancouver man escaped the accident uninjured. The others involved were injured and taken to area hospitals. All were treated at emergency rooms and released.
The man who caused the accident received a citation for second-degree negligent driving. The causes of the crash were unsafe lane change and speeding. Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be factors.
What is Negligent Driving?
Motorists have a duty to drive in a safe manner at all times. When they drive in a manner that is unsafe, it is considered negligent driving. Negligent driving is considered a crime in Washington, although it is not punished with extreme penalties.
Under Washington State Legislature, RCW 46.61.525, negligent driving in the second degree refers to a lack of ordinary care while driving. It means not acting in a reasonably careful manner and as a result, causing damage to property or other drivers on the road. First degree negligent driving often involves intoxication and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Second degree negligent driving is considered a traffic infraction, which means it is not even a misdemeanor. The only penalty is a $250 fine.
There are many actions that can be considered negligent driving and therefore subject to a citation and fine. They include speeding, not leaving enough space between vehicles, not braking soon enough, changing lanes without looking for other vehicles, not checking blind spots, swerving for no reason and entering or exiting a freeway improperly (using an exit as an entrance, or vice versa).
Contact a Vancouver Personal Injury Attorney Today
An accident can lead to varying degrees of personal injury. Some people survive accidents unharmed, while others suffer bruises, broken bones, back and neck injuries, amputations, disfiguration and head trauma. Some even suffer fatal injuries.
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, seek legal help. The aggressive lawyers at Johnston Law Firm can assess your case and determine liability. We can also help you seek compensation for medical bills and other damages. Call our office today at (503) 546-3167 to schedule your free consultation.