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Logging Truck Accidents in Washington State

Logging Truck Accident Lawsuits & Settlements

logging truck accidentLogging, or timber harvesting, is one of the largest industries in Washington. Log trucks travel over private, county, state and federal road systems on dirt, gravel, and pavement. Each year logging trucks are involved in several serious accidents in Washington State.

Due to the sheer size, weight, and type of load carried by these logging trucks, any accident with these types of large trucks can lead to catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death.

Logging Truck Accident Statistics for Washington State

  • In 2007, log trucks were involved in 116 accidents in Washington (WSDOT 2008, WSP 2008).
  • The cumulative annual distance of travel is approximately 140 million miles often under adverse road and weather conditions.
  • Every year approximately one million loads of logs are hauled by log trucks on Washington’s roadways. 
  • Accidents involving heavy trucks in Washington State increased 15% between 2006 and 2008.
  • Between 2002 and 2007 there were a total of 772 accidents with an average of 129 accidents per year were found.

Causes of Log Truck Accidents

serious and fatal log truck accidentsThe two most critical factors of log transport safety are balancing load weights and properly securing loads. Log truck accidents can be caused by improperly loaded log trucks that are unbalanced and cause the truck to tip over when turning. An overweight log truck can lose its logging load causing serious harm and injuries. Logs that are not properly secured can fall onto the road or other vehicles. Logging trucks that exceed height requirements can cause over-height accidents with low-clearance overpasses or bridges. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a part of the US Department of Transportation, and Washington State Department of Transporatation (WSDOT)  have specific rules and regulations that define the standards for securing loads on logging trucks and the transportation of logs. But improperly trained and/or poorly supervised truck drivers or logging personnel often make mistakes that result in serious safety issues. Our experience has revealed that many log truck accidents in Washington State can be avoided if the drivers of these commercial vehicles were more careful and attentive of the road and other drivers.

Another serious issue and common cause of log truck accidents is poorly maintained logging vehicles. Log transport vehicles that have not had frequent safety and maintenance checks have a higher rate of brake deterioration/failure or lost loads due to safety equipment that is simply worn out or outdated.

Size, Weight, Equipment, Working Load Limit (WLL) and Minimum Tie Down Requirements for Log Hauling Trucks

The logs themselves cannot exceed specific size, weight and length requirements. Logs must be transported on a vehicle that has been specifically designed and built for the transportation of logs. These commercial logging trucks must cradle the logs and prevent them from rolling.  The load must be secured in such a way as to prevent the unintentional separation from the vehicle during transport.  And tiedowns and load stabilization bunks, stakes, and bolsters must be used to secure the load.

Experienced Logging Truck Accident Attorney

Davis Law Group, P.S. founder Chris Davis is one of the most respected and recognized civil litigation lawyers practicing in Washington State.  Davis Law Group has been named Best Injury Law Firm in Washington State by AI Dispute Resolution Awards

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a logging truck accident in Washington State contact attorney Chris Davis and the team at Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 to schedule your free legal consultation.