WA State Ranks as the Worst State to Be a Driver in the Lower 48
Wallet Hub released a study on January 22 highlighting the best and worst states to drive in; data was gathered from agencies including the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Energy, the Insurance Research Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Greater Seattle and Washington State overall, did not score well in the study with Washington ranking last among the lower 48 states. This placement drops Washington State from the 47th worst state to drive in 2018.
The study looked at range of factors including gas prices, traffic and infrastructure, safety, parking, positive driving experience, and the cost of car ownership and maintenance. Another study found that congestion in the Puget Sound area ranked ninth worst in North America and 26th worst in the world, almost certainly contributing to a low score in positive driving experience for Washington State drivers. The report points out that apart from the headache and lost time that it causes, congestion costs the average driver over $1,400 per year in the U.S.
Washington State car accident statistics
Washington State fatal car accident statistics
- Washington State’s traffic fatality rate declined each year between 2006 and 2010. The rate in 2006 was 1.12 deaths per one million automobile miles traveled and it dropped to .8 deaths per million miles travelled in 2010.
- There were 460 deaths associated with car accidents in 2010.
- People between the ages of 21 and 25 experienced the most traffic related deaths of any group.
- More than 64 percent of all car accident fatalities between 2006 and 2010 were to the driver.
- More than 46 percent of car accident deaths occurred on state roadways, 20 percent occurred on city streets, and 31 percent took place on county roads.
- July and August are the deadliest months for drivers.
- The majority of fatal car accidents were involved in a low-speed collision, meaning driving less than 35 miles per hour.
- The overall level of traffic fatalities in Washington was comparable to the national average.
Serious injury from car accidents in Washington State
- The number of serious injuries from car accidents declined from almost 3,000 in 2006 to 2,474 in 2010 (a 17 percent decrease).
- The driver was almost three times more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident than a passenger.
- July and August had the most serious injuries from car accidents.
- Forty-four percent of serious injuries from a car accident occurred in a passenger vehicle while 38 percent occurred in a pickup truck, SUV or van.
Washington State drunk driving statistics
- Between 2006 and 2010, there were a total of 1,323 deaths associated with drunken driving.
- The rate of impaired driving deaths has declined every year since 2006; in 2006 there were 301 fatalities and in 2010 there were 230.
- Impaired driving related deaths were the highest among the 21-25 year age group and in the summer months.
- DUI related deaths nearly doubled on the weekends when compared to weekday driving.
Distracted driving statistics for Washington State
- On average, distracted driving accidents caused 152 deaths each year between 2004-2008.
- Between 2004-2008, distracted driving was a contributing factor in more than 25 percent of all fatal car accidents.
- Drivers aged 16-25 were involved in 26 percent of all distracted driving related deaths compared to 14 percent for people over the age of 70.
- Fifty percent of all distraction related fatalities occurred on the weekends.
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