Fatalities drop 58 percent on state highways, freeways in King County

State Patrol stats for 2018 vs 2019

Traffic fatalities were down 58 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 for motor vehicle crashes investigated in King County by the Washington State Patrol.

There were 47 fatalities in 2018 compared to 20 last year, according to year in review stats released Tuesday by the State Patrol.

“The nearly 58% decline in fatalities investigated by the WSP in King County is also encouraging but even one fatality is one too many,” according to the report for state highways and freeways. “Every fatal collision affects countless lives of family, friends and others that are involved in these tragic incidents. The WSP encourages all drivers to have a plan if the choice is made to consume anything that may cause impairment. There are many great options available in this day and age which leaves no excuse for impaired driving.”

The slight decline in distracted driving violations (6,106 to 5,910) is also a good sign, according to the State Patrol.

“No matter what time of day or location of travel, distracted driving poses a great danger to those that are distracted and others using the roadways,” according to the report. “The WSP is confident that the more drivers that adhere to our law, fewer collisions will occur and tragedies avoided.”

The overall numbers shown in most categories are definitely trending in the direction the WSP wants to them to go with the exception of seat belt usage. Seat belts save lives and the message to all the motoring public is to wear you seat belt.

“The last violation that will be emphasized is the HOV contacts,” according to the report. “This is a violation that generates numerous complaints to the Washington State Patrol in King County. Through enforcement efforts and the new HOV graduated fine, the WSP is looking for this violation to continue to trend lower.”

State Patrol stats King County

Violation 2018 vs 2019

DUI: 3,704 vs 3,334

Distracted driving: 6,106 vs 5,910

Seat belts: 3,868 vs 4,195

Fatalities: 47 vs 20

Speed: 46,286 vs 42,597

HOV: 13,233 vs 12,715

Source: Washington State Patrol

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