Properly covering a load to avoid a car accident could save a life. When something from your load falls out, you will then be liable if the hazard causes a car accident. Always remember when hauling materials, or carrying a load, be sure that the load is properly fastened down. Certain types of loads are required to be covered, such as loads of dirt, sand, or gravel. Even when you are not carrying a load, be sure to pay attention to what is on or around your car before driving, and never throw materials out of the car on the road. If glass or any other object becomes dislodged from your car, or is thrown from the vehicle onto the roadway, you can be liable for subsequent damages, and even charged with a crime.
RCW 46.61.655: Dropping load, other materials—Covering.
(1) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any public highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction.
(2) No person may operate on any public highway any vehicle with any load unless the load and such covering as required thereon by subsection (3) of this section is securely fastened to prevent the covering or load from becoming loose, detached, or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.
(3) Any vehicle operating on a paved public highway with a load of dirt, sand, or gravel susceptible to being dropped, spilled, leaked, or otherwise escaping therefrom shall be covered so as to prevent spillage. Covering of such loads is not required if six inches of freeboard is maintained within the bed.
(4)(a) Any person operating a vehicle from which any glass or objects have fallen or escaped, which would constitute an obstruction or injure a vehicle or otherwise endanger travel upon such public highway shall immediately cause the public highway to be cleaned of all such glass or objects and shall pay any costs therefor.
(b) Any vehicle with deposits of mud, rocks, or other debris on the vehicle’s body, fenders, frame, undercarriage, wheels, or tires shall be cleaned of such material before the operation of the vehicle on a paved public highway.
(5) The state patrol may make necessary rules to carry into effect the provisions of this section, applying such provisions to specific conditions and loads and prescribing means, methods, and practices to effectuate such provisions.
(6) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a public maintenance vehicle from dropping sand on a highway to enhance traction, or sprinkling water or other substances to clean or maintain a highway.
(7)(a)(i) A person is guilty of failure to secure a load in the first degree if he or she, with criminal negligence, fails to secure a load or part of a load to his or her vehicle in compliance with subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section and causes substantial bodily harm to another.
(ii) Failure to secure a load in the first degree is a gross misdemeanor.
(b)(i) A person is guilty of failure to secure a load in the second degree if he or she, with criminal negligence, fails to secure a load or part of a load to his or her vehicle in compliance with subsection (1) or (2) of this section and causes damage to property of another.
(ii) Failure to secure a load in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
(c) A person who fails to secure a load or part of a load to his or her vehicle in compliance with subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section is guilty of an infraction if such failure does not amount to a violation of (a) or (b) of this subsection.
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