According to reports from the Washington State Patrol, there were fewer accidents statewide in 2011 than at anytime in the past 11 years. In 2011, the WSP reported about 99,000 collisions, which continued a downward trend from a recent peak in 2005 of 123,000 traffic collisions.
The WSP credited drivers’ use of seat belts and air bags in the reduction in fatalities, but the reduction in collisions also meant that improved driver behavior had lead to less crashes. Injuries were down about 20 percent from the peak year in 2005. DUI-related collisions were also down about 21 percent. Fatality collisions were down about 30 percent from 2005.
In a statement, WSP Chief John R. Batiste said the three most important factors are slowing down, paying attention to the road and driving sober. “We don’t have to accept collisions as an inevitable fact of life,” he said.
As lawyers who represent people injured in collisions, we recognize that there is no such thing as an “accident.” Collisions occur because of poor driver behavior and unsafe actions out on the roadway. Protect yourself and others by driving sober, not using your cell phone while driving, leaving adequate space for the driver ahead, and paying attention to the road. We hope this trend will continue and we will see less injuries out on our roadways.