Safety concerns after three semi crashes in three weeks

Print
Email
|

by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 1:06 PM

As Feleke Gebregsadik prepares for the long haul to Longview, there's no shortage of stress.
 
"I have to pay attention to what's going on in front of me and behind me and beside me," said Gebregsadik.
 
The roads most travelled-- are often the most dangerous for truckers like Feleke. As we rode along, plenty of cars cut him off.

"People cut in front of you. See right there? They're changing lanes right away. There is no signal."
 
Feleke's been driving truck for 12 years. He knows even the smallest thing can make a big rig to go sideways.

"Some people, they don't know they have no idea how many tons are behind them, and they stop in front of you. That's kind of scary."
 
It's happened a lot lately.
 
This morning-- a jack-knifed semi shut down all southbound lanes of 405. The State Patrol blames the trucker for not paying attention.
 
Last week it was a Fed Ex truck that wreaked havoc on the morning commute through downtown Seattle.
 
And the now-infamous Skagit bridge collapse. A truck driver appears to have caused that too. His oversize load hit the bridge, and now, say troopers, maybe another passing semi too, moments before the bridge came down.
 
Of all the crashes involving semis last year more than half were caused by truckers - 667 compared to 627 caused by cars.
 
But in fatal collisions with big rigs, car drivers were more often at fault. Seventeen were caused by truckers, 25 by car drivers in 2012.
 
Feleke says he's never had an accident in his trucking career but he admits truckers do share the blame. But he also wants to remind other drivers to share the road.
 
The Washington State Patrol says the number of accidents involving semis year to year continues to climb-- from 1,191 in 2010 to 1,294 in 2012.

Print
Email
|