In recent years, roads across the nation have seen frightening increases in injuries and fatalities. Washington is no different. In fact, the numbers are getting worse.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says that 2022 is on track to be the worst year for road deaths since 1996.
It is important to be aware of the WTSC analysis and know what steps to take if you have been injured in an accident.
Crash data analysis comes to troubling conclusions
In its analysis, the WTSC says it believes that 2022 will end with a total of more than 700 road fatalities. At its last count at the end of October, there had been 600 such incidents. This was 9% higher than the three-year average.
This is the worst total in 25 years.
In 1996, 712 people lost their lives in an accident. Overall, Washington is sixth nationally for the worst increase in fatal crashes.
In 2021, there were 663 deaths for the state. Seattle had 30 road fatalities. This was the highest in 16 years. Through May, there were 11 fatalities in Seattle.
The reasons for the fatal accident increase varied. Specifically referenced reasons were speeding and drivers who were under the influence. Often, these are combined to exponentially increase the chances of an accident.
More than 50% of fatal accidents in the state involved impairment. Thirty percent of all accidents were due to alcohol use.
The health crisis was a factor as the roads were emptier, law enforcement was less vigilant and drivers could speed and break other rules of the road with relative impunity. Some want to lower the level at which drivers would be arrested for drunk driving.
Currently, the blood alcohol concentration level needs to be 0.08%. A proposed change would lower it to 0.05%.
Know your options after an accident
Regardless of the reasons for the rise in fatal accidents throughout the Evergreen State, it is imperative for people to think about safety when heading out. Of course, many accidents are unavoidable and people must consider the future when they or a loved one has been involved.
Medical costs can be massive, lost time at work can be a challenge and the long-term aftereffects can be life-changing. That does not factor in the emotional and personal impact. Consulting with professionals who know the ins and outs of auto accidents can be helpful with deciding on a path forward.