Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Another deadly year in Washington state for fatal collisions

State Patrol blames impairment, distraction, speeding and not wearing seat belts for higher numbers

The number of fatalities on Washington roads is up so far this year compared to 2022, which was the deadliest year in the state since 1990.

There were 417 fatalities through July 31 compared to 413 at the same point in 2022, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. A total of 750 lives were lost in collisions last year.

“We have seen more multi-fatality crashes in 2023, which is making this a historically deadly year,” said Shelly Baldwin, Traffic Safety Commission director, in an Aug. 30 media release. “We are announcing these very preliminary figures because we need everyone’s help right now. Driving sober, driving focused, respecting speed limits and buckling up are the four best ways to save a life.”

While more total lives have been lost, there have been fewer deadly crash incidents so far in 2023 compared to 2022. This means deadly crashes are resulting in more deaths per crash.

“Saving lives on our highways involves everyone’s participation – and that includes passengers,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “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.”

The State Patrol and Traffic Safety Commission are nearing the end of a summerlong campaign educating the public about the 90 Dangerous Days of summer. Over the past five years, the summer months have resulted in the deadliest 90-day stretch for drivers on Washington roadways, according to the media release.

State and local law enforcement will be out and will be visible throughout the Labor Day weekend to provide an extra reminder for everyone to be safe.

Everyone who uses Washington roads can do their part to avoid the fatal four: impairment, distraction, speeding and not wearing seat belts.

Among the 750 people who lost their lives in 2022 on Washington roadways, 565 deaths (75%) involved one or more of the fatal four behaviors, according to the media release.

All cyclists should wear helmets and other protective gear and be as visible as possible. Motorists should also watch out for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

“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.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Men serving halal food on Eid Mubarak 2024. Photo By Joshua Solorzano/Federal Way Mirror
Washington state passes Halal Food Consumer Protection Act

Federal Way Muslim activist details how this bill came about and why it is important

t
Head-on collision kills 31-year-old woman in Auburn

The fatal collision occurred May 11 in the area of I Street Northeast in north Auburn.

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Reyna Hernandez (right) with her mother. Photo Courtesy of Ivonne Carillo-Hernandez
Friends of Renton’s Reyna Hernandez detail her cheerful character

Friends in Renton considered her family and saw some warning signs of abuse prior to her murder.

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Man receives one month jail sentence in fatal Renton hit-and-run

2020 crash killed 16-year-old boy on motorcycle along Interstate 405; mother objects to plea deal

t
Investigators bust drug trafficking operation in King County

Thousands of fentanyl pills reportedly were kept at a Federal Way storage facility.

t
Is state school board association seeing a conservative takeover?

Anonymous members say changes in the group’s voting rules are allowing anti-LGBTQIA+ measures

t
Man charged with first-degree murder of Renton businesswoman

Accused Louis Hernandez was Reyna Hernandez’s partner, according to Renton Police.

Food in a foam takeout container. Sound Publishing file photo
Foam coolers, takeout containers will be banned in WA

The prohibition on the sale and distribution of these products will take effect June 1 under a law the Legislature approved in 2021.

t
Federal Way Public Market concept receives $75,000 for study

The home of the envisioned project is off South 320th Street and 23rd Avenue South.

t
Suspected DUI crash in Renton injures three; cars engulfed in flames

Wrong-way driver incident along Interstate 405 on April 14