OLYMPIA, Wash. - The winter months are here and with them come the possibility of adverse driving conditions due to rain, snow, ice or fog. The Washington State Patrol is asking the motoring public to be prepared for these conditions and use caution while driving on the roadways.
Motor vehicle collisions are typically a caused occurrence, they are not considered an accident. The responsibility of maintaining control of your vehicle regardless of the weather or road conditions rests solely on your shoulders so drive carefully. Finally, if you are found to be at fault in the collision; law enforcement may issue you a Notice of Infraction or “ticket” as to the cause of that collision. The minimum fine usually assessed for a collision causing violation is $175.
Collisions will occur this winter; here are some things law enforcement will expect you to do if you are involved in a collision.
- If the collision is minor in nature and the vehicles are drivable; move them to the shoulder of the roadway to clear the traffic lane. Be sure it’s a safe location away from places such as the outside of a curve or the bottom of a hill where other drivers may experience difficulties.
- If the collision is more serious in nature or the vehicles are not drivable, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened for safety.
- Report the location of the collision and the nature of the injuries to law enforcement by calling 911.
- Exchange basic information; such as your name, address, phone number, vehicle description and license number and insurance information with the other driver if it is safe to do so.
- When law enforcement arrives, provide them your driver’s license, phone number, vehicle registration, proof of insurance and a detailed statement as to the events of the collision.
- If the collision is not investigated by law enforcement, then it is your responsibility to complete a civilian collision report if the damage to your vehicle or the other vehicle involved is $750 or more. The civilian collision report is usually available at your local law enforcement offices or any Washington State Patrol office.