The rate of traffic deaths has been increasing dramatically. As drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists put their lives in danger due to distraction and other issues, law enforcement reinforces the importance of following road rules.
But what happens when accidents happen and drivers who see people in distress step up to help? In many cases, they are often injured — and sometimes even killed — as a result.
According to several news sources, the Washington State Patrol is asking drivers to be extremely careful when helping stranded motorists. The recommendation comes after the Seattle Times reported that crashes that took place within a 20 minute span involved good Samaritans who unfortunately lost their lives or were injured.
The first incident happened when a 46-year-old from Darrington stopped to help a disabled vehicle. As she aided a 9-year-old to get out of the vehicle, a passing car struck the two victims. The 46-year-old was killed as a result of this tragic incident while the girl only suffered minor injuries.
The second crash occurred when a truck lost a wheel while traveling on State Route 2. A 29-year-old and a 32-year-old then stopped to help the driver. As they were reaching out to offer their assistance, another vehicle hit the disabled truck and it was pushed against the pedestrians. The two good Samaritans were rushed to the hospitals.
WSP officials are urging drivers or anyone who would like to help whenever they see a driver or someone else stranded to use safety devices such as road flares before attempting to remove someone from a disabled vehicle.
Drivers are often not able to see what’s ahead before it’s too late to avoid a collision otherwise.
If you’re a driver and you care about your fellow drivers going through tough situations, make sure to be prepared to help. For more information on how to stay safe in Washington while helping others, follow this link for more details.