WSP urges drivers to make good choices after deadly weekend on state highways
July 27, 2023
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is urging drivers to make good choices behind the wheel this summer following an alarming number of fatality collisions over the past week. The reminder comes amid the statewide “Surviving Summer” traffic safety campaign bringing attention to the 90 most dangerous days on Washington roadways.
The WSP investigated fatality collisions across the state that resulted in the loss of 15 lives over the weekend, including six killed in Tacoma and another three killed in a crash outside Othello. In addition to the 15 deaths over the weekend, the WSP investigated three more fatality collisions since Monday – all involving the loss of motorcycle riders.
“What our troopers have seen over the past few days is disheartening,” said WSP Assistant Chief James Mjor, Field Operations Bureau. “We make our roadways safe together – and we are asking you to do your part on what historically has been the most dangerous days on our roadways.”
These tragedies occurred during what Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) and WSP data shows is the highest 90-day stretch for traffic-related fatalities in Washington: June 9 through Sept. 7.
The 90-day period has on average accounted for 31 percent of all traffic deaths statewide over the past five years. The top contributing circumstances to those collisions have historically been excessive speed, impairment, distraction, and failure to grant right of way.
WSP troopers investigated 314 fatalities in 2022 – 37 percent involved impairment, 27 percent involved speed, and 31 percent involved occupants not wearing their seatbelts. That was a rise in fatal collisions from the 283 investigated in 2021, where 38 percent involved impairment, 27 percent involved speed, and 33 percent involved unbelted occupants.