The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is particularly hazardous on the roads. To combat this, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is launching a safety campaign titled "Surviving Summer: 90 Dangerous Days." According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, more than 1,206 lives were lost due to fatal crashes each summer since 2018, with law enforcement responding to an average of more than 65 fatalities per month in June, July, and August. 

Pedestrians and Motorcyclists

Vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, are also at risk, with half of all motorcycle fatalities occurring during this period, and July sees the highest number of cyclist deaths.  

Primary Contributing Factors

The primary contributing factors to these fatalities are excessive speed, impairment, and distraction. In 2023, Washington State Patrol investigated 301 fatal collisions, 30% of which occurred during the summer months, with impaired driving and lack of seatbelt use being significant factors. Most of these collisions happened on weekdays, between noon and 7 p.m., with Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays seeing the highest number of incidents. 

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Washington State Patrol troopers investigated 301 fatality collisions in 2023. 30 percent of which occurred during the summer months. Of those 93 summertime tragedies: 

  • 31 percent involved an impaired driver 
  • 25 percent involved occupants not wearing their seatbelt 
  • 72 percent occurred on a weekday 
  • 44 percent occurred between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. 

WSP encourages drivers to adhere to speed limits, stay alert to others on the road, drive sober, and always wear seatbelts.  

Best Looking State Patrol Cars In (Almost) Every State

For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll


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