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Washington’s Fender Law Is There To Help Avoid Accidents

In Washington State, there are very specific rules concerning tire fenders that were put in place to avoid crashes.

The fenders, also known as mud flaps, help minimize water and mud splashes. On big vehicles with big tires, drivers
must use big fenders. Otherwise, vehicles will spray debris and mud, making it hard for other vehicles to avoid

In an interview, a Washington State Patrol sergeant said that RCW 46.37.500 is in place to keep roadway clear from mud and debris. The RCW also states that “fenders must be as wide as the tires behind which they are mounted.”

Unfortunately, many large vehicles crossing the beautiful state of Washington don’t follow this rule. As a result, roads are covered in debris and slippery material.

Still, the law is clear when it says that:

“… no person may operate any motor vehicle, trailer, cargo extension, or semitrailer that is not equipped with fenders, covers, flaps, or splash aprons adequate for minimizing the spray or splash of water or mud from the roadway to the rear of the vehicle. All such devices shall be as wide as the tires behind which they are mounted and extend downward at least to the center of the axle.”

What Happens If Your Fender Isn’t Big Enough?

Washington law states that vehicles who violate the fender law could get a $136 ticket.  And while many drivers maynot notice large vehicles with fenders that are too small, troopers are on the lookout.

Troopers say that many cracked windshields are due to large tires spraying small rocks. This is dangerous, they add. And why drivers must respect the law.

Older, classic cars, however, fall under the law’s exception. According to the text, vehicles that are operated as a collector’s item are not required to have large fenders if equipped with large tires. So long as the vehicle is used in fair weather and on well-maintained roads.

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