Yesterday brought with it a torrential downpour, congesting traffic all across the state. This rainy weather created dangerous driving conditions in certain areas, particularly where concrete is used as opposed to asphalt. In Kennewick, there is a new roundabout at the south end of the Highway 395 overpass that drivers complain gets very slick in rainy conditions. Recently, the Department of Transportation implemented additional drains to remove excess water from the highway. Also, the DOT claims in this news report, “We have done some more grinding to improve the friction numbers to make the roadway not so slippery.”
Yesterday morning, a Kennewick police traffic sergeant was thrown from his motorcycle after losing control in the roundabout. Witnesses saw the sergeant fishtail twice before he was ejected, though he was traveling at low speeds at the time. Luckily he was wearing a helmet at the time of the motorcycle accident but he still suffered some minor back and hip injuries and was treated at Kennewick General Hospital. Back in May, a semi-truck driver also lost control of his rig when the road was wet. His truck ended up falling off the overpass and narrowly missing a truck below.
Although neither of these accidents were caused by speeding, as a Seattle personal injury lawyer I still think it’s important to remember to take extra caution in adverse weather conditions. That means traveling under the speed limit if necessary. At this point, the DOT plans to evaluate the roundabout to see if it is creating a safety hazard.