The Washington State Patrol, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and partner law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in a statewide “Surviving Summer” campaign, with a goal of reducing serious injury and fatality collisions during the state’s 90 dangerous days on Washington roadways.
For the past five years, June 9 through Sept. 7 has become the highest consecutive 90-day stretch for traffic-related fatalities within Washington. According to the traffic safety commission, more than 967 lives were lost due to fatal crashes over the course of the past five summers (June to August), with law enforcement responding to an average of more than 60 fatalities per month in June, July and August.
The 90-day period on average accounts for 31% of all traffic deaths statewide. The top contributing circumstances to those fatality collisions have been excess speed, impairment, distraction and failing to grant right of way.
“We can all make choices that make our roads safer,” said Mark McKechnie, external relations director for the commission. “We buckle up and put the phones down. We drive sober and encourage others to do the same. We can also ease off the gas a little, and we’ll get to our destinations safely.”
Those at risk are not just drivers – but also vulnerable roadway users such as pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders.
Lowering the risk for everyone who shares the roadway requires a collaborative effort. Law enforcement partners across the state are asking the public to participate in their role of ensuring we all survive summer.
“Fatalities are at an all-time high,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “We need the help of everyone; be courteous, driver sober, slow down, so we can all enjoy the summer spending time with our loved ones.”