How safe are you while driving in Washington? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “Not as safe as you were in the past.” Data shows that motor vehicle accident fatalities have been on the rise in Washington over the past couple of years.
It is worth noting that despite the increase in fatal accidents, Washington State still has one of the lower fatal accident rates in the country. According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, Washington had 7.9 motor vehicle accident-related deaths per 100,000 people in 2015. In comparison, Washington DC had the lowest, with 3.4, and Wyoming had the highest, with 24.7.
From 2014 to 2015*, there was a 23 percent increase in motor vehicle crash deaths. A total of 568 motor vehicle crash deaths occurred in 2015.
Why have fatal accidents increased? There are many possible reasons.
Distracted driving continues to be a major problem. In response to the issue, Washington lawmakers are drafting a bill that would ban most use of handheld devices by drivers. 2016 was one of the worst years for drunk-driving deaths, and stoned driving has also become a growing issue since recreational marijuana use was legalized in the state. There are many factors at play, but one overarching theme: driver error and irresponsibility.
In order to reduce the number of traffic accidents and roadway deaths in 2017, it is important for all drivers to assume responsibility for their driving behavior. This means paying attention on the road, never driving while impaired, minimizing distractions and abiding by traffic laws. We all play a major part in keeping our roads and highways safe for driving.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Washington State, schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney by calling 1-844-ELK-WEST.
*Data is not yet available for 2016.