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Washington has its worst year for fatal auto crashes since 1990

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Tracking the number of auto accidents with injuries and fatalities in Seattle and throughout Washington is an important aspect of finding ways to reduce their number. Researchers are vigilant about this as they assess the totals each year. The latest comprehensive statistics for 2023 were recently released and it presented some troubling conclusions.

Number of fatalities in 2023 rose significantly from 2022

Washington’s Traffic Safety Commission released its report on state road fatalities. It showed there were 810 overall fatalities in the state for 2023. This was a rise of 67 from 2022. In addition, it is the highest total in 33 years. The director of the commission expressed concern over this increase, lamenting how families are harmed by these collisions and their aftermath.

Breaking the accidents down, it was found that 141 of the fatalities were motorcyclists and 157 were pedestrians. For motorcycle riders, it was the worst total ever recorded in the state. A major factor in the crashes was intoxication as almost 50% involved a driver who had been using drugs or alcohol. Speeding was also a problem as 251 of the accidents were found to have been linked to this issue. Three in four were connected to drivers indulging in “high-risk” behaviors.

The increase in fatalities is not a new phenomenon. From 2019 – when there were 538 fatalities – to 2023, the total has risen by more than half. This has been an annual problem through the latest statistics. In 2022 and 2023, each year had a 10% increase from the prior year. Experts say that people who adhere to safe behaviors behind the wheel such as not being distracted, following the speed limit and making sure they wear their seat belt can play a significant role in avoiding a catastrophic accident with injuries and death.

There are options after an auto accident

An auto accident is an unexpected and dramatic event in a person’s life whether they are involved or they lose a loved one. The injuries, long-term damage, financial ramifications and concern about the future is universal. While it is difficult to think about in such a tumultuous time, considering options to make a full recovery is key. That could require legal action. The case must be investigated to determine its cause and to gauge how best to proceed. This is key from the outset and people need to be prepared.