Road Fatalities in Washington on Pace For All-Time High
Washington State Traffic Safety Commission (WSTC) is asking for everyone's help in response to the state's worsening road safety crisis.
Last year was the deadliest year on Washington road since 1990 with 750 fatalities. At 417 people killed through July this year, the state is on pace to surpass 2022 numbers.
“We have seen more multi-fatality crashes in 2023, which is making this a historically deadly year,” said Shelly Baldwin, WTSC Director. “Driving sober, driving focused, respecting speed limits, and buckling up are the four best ways to save a life” Baldwin added.
Single crashes with more deaths concern Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers as well. Despite 2023 fatality numbers on track to eclipse last year's totals, there have been fewer crashes this year.
“Driver decisions are an obvious factor in fatal collisions, but passengers have a duty to ensure their own safety by always choosing to buckle up. We need this disheartening trend to turn around, and we cannot do that without everyone’s participation.” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste.
Increase patrols plans to stake out trouble spots along the state's highways this weekend as a way to not only get drivers to slow down, but to educate them on the rules of the road.
75% of 2022 fatalities involved one or more of these four behaviors: impairment, distraction, speeding and not wearing seat belts.
“The power to save lives is in the hands of every driver on our roads,” Baldwin said. “Going into Labor Day and the final four months of 2023, we still have time change this trend. Please get a sober ride if you have used drugs or alcohol. Higher speeds endanger the lives of everyone, so please respect the speed limit. If we practice these simple safety behaviors each day, we can save hundreds of lives so that they will be here to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends.”
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