Top Factors in Washington State Car Accidents


Motor vehicle collisions can have a devastating impact on the victims and their families. Unfortunately, your chances of being involved in a car accident at some point in your life are estimated to be between one and four and one and three.

Numerous experts and organizations have attempted to determine which states are the most dangerous to drive in. The good news is that Washington State is usually not near the top of those lists. The State of Washington typically falls well below the average for the rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. But we still have far too many preventable motor vehicle collisions each year.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 98,820 motor vehicle collisions throughout the state during 2011. Understanding what caused those collisions may help avoid future crashes.

The Department of Transportation provides the following information regarding contributing factors in motor vehicle collisions:

  1. Failure to grant right of way – 19,479
  2. Exceeding reasonable safe speed – 19,128
  3. Following too closely – 16,819
  4. Other – 12,615
  5. Inattention – 7,855

Top Five Contributing Factors in Fatal Collisions

  1. Under influence of alcohol – 133
  2. Crossing over center line –102
  3. Exceeding reasonable safe speed – 95
  4. Exceeding stated speed limit –60
  5. Other – 50

Also according to the Department of Transportation:

  • The leading cause of all accidents on state and county roads is exceeding safe reasonable speeds.
  • The leading cause of all accidents on city streets is failing to yield the right of way.
  • The leading cause of fatal accidents on state and county roads is alcohol impairment.
  • The leading cause of fatal accidents on city streets is exceeding stated speed limit.

These statistics tell us a few things. First, although alcohol-related traffic fatalities have declined during the past decade, we still have a long way to go toward eliminating impaired driving. Another factor that jumps out is speed. Driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions appears repeatedly in the collision statistics.

The next time you come across an alcohol check point or see a police officer with a radar gun, remember that they are trying to save lives – maybe even your own.

If you have been injured in a Yakima Valley area car accident or have lost a loved one as a result of one, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss. The Yakima Valley accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law can help you get through the legal process and make sure that the party responsible for your injuries or loss is held accountable. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.