Up in the Pacific Northwest, the state of Washington spans an area of over seventy thousand square miles of valleys, mountains, and rivers. It is the 13th most-populous state with about 7.5 million residents for a density of 103 persons per square mile. Its highest point is the summit of Mount Rainier, while its lowest is on the west coast facing the Pacific Ocean.
Plenty of opportunities and a vibrant metropolitan atmosphere draw people to the state. It is a fairly safe place with a low crime rate and good roads. Still, motorists should always be careful when driving to avoid becoming part of the Washington car crash statistics.
According to the data collected for the year 2015, a crash occurred within the state every 4.5 minutes. Most of these were minor and did not involve any injuries. However, some were bad enough that an injury was recorded every eleven minutes. Tragically, it was estimated that a person died from a car crash every sixteen hours. These included drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to varying degrees. Some of these collisions occurred because of a speeding driver. Others were due to either distraction, as in using a phone, or impairment, as in alcohol intoxication.
In that year, Washington was home to 5.5 million licensed drivers and 6.25 registered vehicles, which were able to log in almost 60 billion miles of vehicle travel. Authorities have been strict with speeding, handing out more than 400,000 citations in the state courts. There were also over 30,000 phone citations and 26,000 DUI cases filed. It was found that there were more crashes on Fridays than any other day of the week. The fewest were recorded on Sundays. The deadliest hour is between 5pm and 6pm when people are rushing home from work. The most dangerous month is December, while the safest one is February.
Of the total 117,053 collisions, about 66% fall under property damage, 31% are injury collisions, 0.43% are fatal collisions, and the rest are unknown injury collisions. About 4% of the total injuries are serious with long-term consequences. Among the fatalities, 263 are drivers, 115 are vehicle occupants, 73 are motorcyclists, and 100 are non-motorists. Most of the crashes happen on state routes and city streets. There are fewer incidents on county roads. The highest number of accidents was recorded in King County, followed by Snohomish, Pierce, Spokane, Clark, Thurston, and Yakima.
Comparison with Other States
Looking at the data for all the states, it can be said that Washington has some of the better statistics. There are only 7.4 deaths per 100,000 in the population, which is much lower than the US average of 11.6. Deaths per million miles traveled is only 0.87 compared to the 1.16 nationwide average. Although these are impressive, Washington has an even loftier goal of having zero casualties and is continuously improving policies to get closer to this target. Those who are interested in learning more can check the following links: