Toward the end of February 2020, after a vehicle ran a red light in the Hillyard area, a truck struck another vehicle which then ran into a nearby power pole. This power pole collision led to a portion of the street being closed off for the evening. As a result of the accident, both drivers experienced minor injuries.
This accident serves as just one example of how catastrophic motor vehicle accidents can be when a collision with a utility pole is involved. Each year in Spokane as well as the rest of the state of Washington, a large number of utility pole collisions occur that result in serious injuries and fatalities.
Why Utility Poles Crashes are Often Deadly Accidents
Many people are surprised to learn that there are more stationary objects other than trees that can make motor vehicle collisions deadly. Some of the reasons why utility poles often prove deadly include:
- Utility poles are positioned close to the roadways, which creates a substantial danger for motor vehicle drivers. Data shows that 1,000 motorists die each year as a result of collisions with utility poles.
- There is a lack of state and federal standards addressing utility poles, which means that there are many defective utility poles out there. The National Electric Safety Code defines minimum standards for utility pole strength, but there are not any inspection requirements regarding these poles.
- Sometimes, utility poles have low hanging wires that can snag larger motor vehicles. Wires like this can result in the electrocution of vehicle drivers and passengers upon contact.
- Utility poles sometimes rot and end up collapsing in roadways, which can create obstructions for motorists. There are also various other ways that utility poles can fall into disrepair and end up creating motor vehicle accidents.
What to do if a Vehicle Strikes a Utility Pole
There are some specific steps that you should take in case a vehicle ends up colliding with a power line. These include:
- Never get out of your vehicle. You might be inclined to step out of your vehicle to make sure that others are okay, but you should remain inside your vehicle. This is because utility wires can be deadly and there is a risk of being electrocuted.
- Call for help inside your vehicle. You should make sure to carry a cell phone with you in case of emergencies. If you do not have a cell phone, you should ask someone near the scene of the accident for assistance.
- Understand the ground can be energized. While it might sound obvious to some people, you can get shocked even if you do not come into direct contact with a power line.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Spokane Accident Attorney
Power line accidents are just one of the deadly ways in which Spokane vehicle accidents can occur. Regardless of how you are involved in a vehicular accident, it can help to speak with an experienced lawyer. Contact West Law Office today to schedule a free case evaluation.