WSDOT: 2011 Sees Fewest Collisions in a Decade

Along with drivers, officials credit the coordinated efforts of state and local agencies brought together through our state’s Target Zero program, a collective effort of traffic safety experts focused on finding out what causes collisions and how to prevent them.

“Highway safety continues to be at the core of our efforts,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, noting how highway safety features such as rumble strips and cable guardrail continue to prevent collisions, reduce injuries, and save lives.

“We are encouraged by the numbers but believe we can do even better. It’s going to take a continued commitment from all us – highway planners, drivers, plus our partners in law enforcement and driver education,” she said.

The 2011 numbers are considered preliminary until Dec. 31, but officials don’t expect them to change significantly. All categories of collisions are down, across the board.

· Injury collisions were down by about 20 percent, from the peak year of 2005.

  • · DUI-related collisions are down about 21 percent.
  • · Fatal collisions are down by about 30 percent from the peak year of 2005.

“This supports what we’ve long believed,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “There are no accidents in traffic. Each of us has the power to reduce collisions simply by making better choices.”

Batiste believes the three most important choices are slowing down, paying attention to the road and driving sober.

“We don’t have to accept collisions as an inevitable fact of life,” Batiste said.

So go ahead, drivers- pat yourselves on the back. Just don’t do it while you’re driving.