Trucking accidents on the rise in our area

Trucking accidents on the rise in our area
YAKIMA, Wash. – Accidents are an unfortunate side of Yakima Valley's busy streets and highways. They can be even more terrifying when it involves a big rig or tractor trailer.

"It takes a while getting used to driving a truck out on the highway,” said Thomas Marrow, a truck driver of 22 years. “I have experience witnessing some fairly bad accidents over the years."

Tom tells KIMA he thinks accidents can happen anywhere. But he said it happens most often to drivers who become too comfortable or distracted. He said experience seems to help drivers become more responsible.

Tom said he's driven through every state except for maybe four or five. And, he says this area of the country is known as one of the trickier places to drive through.

"Heavy rain, snow, creates some trouble through the passes,” Tom said.

KIMA pulled the numbers on commercial vehicle accidents over the past three years. Every year, Kittitas County saw the most accidents, averaging about 80.

State Patrol says it’s likely because of heavy traffic on Interstates 82 and 90.

Yakima County was second, averaging about 60 accidents per year. Officers say it's likely because of the Agriculture industry. Counties like Benton and Franklin averaged between 20 and 30 a year.

Overall, commercial vehicle accidents increased in most counties in our area between 2011 and 2012. Benton County saw 15 more accidents. Franklin saw an increase of 8 accidents. Yakima jumped from 48 to 67 accidents.

Tom said the numbers don't surprise him based on how many trucks are actually on the road.

"I think the accident rate is low compared to that,” Tom said.
Still, it's a rate that most would like to see driven down.