Yes, it happened again.
On Sunday, March 19, a Ride the Ducks of Seattle vehicle was involved in an accident with a sedan at Westlake Avenue N and Highland Drive. Photos of the incident showed the sedan being trapped in the front-end of the Ride the Ducks vehicle. While details are still emerging, the driver of the Ride the Ducks vehicle has been cited for unsafe lane change, according to Seattle police.
Fortunately, the driver of the sedan only sustained minor injuries to her hand. However, the accident renews the concern regarding the safety of duck boats on our roads. The fatal 2015 Ride the Ducks accident on the Aurora Bridge, which killed five people and injured more than 50, is a serious reminder of how dangerous duck boat vehicles can be. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Aurora Bridge accident was caused by maintenance-related problems and a lack of oversight years before the crash.
Through reading comments on news articles and social media, the general consensus among residents of Seattle appears to be overwhelming: it’s time for the Ducks to go. Many people, including myself, don’t feel comfortable driving or walking near by these 17-ton amphibious military boats.
In 2011, I represented a young man who was critically injured when he was run over and dragged by a Ride the Ducks of Seattle vehicle while on his motorcycle. I’ve witnessed firsthand how much damage, both physically and mentally, that a duck boat accident can cause for a victim.
Due to their sheer size, lack of maneuverability and poor visibility, duck boat vehicles are dangerous to other motorists and the dozens of passengers they carry. While Ride the Ducks have been synonymous with Seattle tourism since the company began in 1997, we need to seriously question whether they are more of a hazard than a beneficial attraction to the city.
I’ll be keeping an eye on this recent duck boat accident case and update with any new developments. Stay tuned and stay safe.