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Transportation Final 10-15-09 -   A. - Fatalities On All Washington Roads

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Transportation Final 10-15-09
1. Safety
2. Preservation
3. Mobility
4. Environment
5. Stewardship
Current Conditions
6. Economic Recovery

A. Fatalities On All Washington Roads

Are traffic fatalities on Washington roads decreasing?

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DataSource: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) located at the WTSC. Fatalities recorded in FARS as of 8/28/2009.




Fatalities in 2008 are preliminary and subject to change as more information becomes available. A traffic fatality in FARS is someone who dies within 30 days of a crash as a result of injuries sustained in that crash, which must involve at least one motor vehicle on a trafficway customarily open to the public. FARS records information on over 100 different coded data elements that characterize the crash, the vehicle, and the people involved. The Washington State FARS team consists of two analysts located at the WTSC.

Extended Analysis: Yes
Action Plan: Yes

 Summary Analysis

  • Washington's 2008 traffic fatality rate was 0.94 fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled--our state's lowest ever.
  • Fatalities in 2009 continue to decrease. As of August 15, Washington reports 267 all-road fatalities in 2009 compared to 287 at the same time point in 2008, and 343 at the same time point in 2007. 


  • Travel: While statewide miles traveled on Washington roads decreased by 2.7% compared to 2007, there was an even greater decrease in the number of fatalities. Statewide fatalities decreased by 8.6% -- from 571 in 2007 to 522 in 2008. 
  • Enforcement: The top-three enforcement priorities of Washington's state and local law enforcement community are impaired driving, speeding, and occupant protection.  Recent declines in impaired driver-involved, speeding driver-involved and unrestrained vehicle occupant fatalities continued in 2008.  Impaired driver-involved fatalities dropped by 7.7% (from 272 in 2007 to 251 in 2008), and speeding driver-involved fatalities dropped by 6.2% (from 227 in 2007 to 213 in 2008).  Likewise, the number of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities decreased by 15.3% (from 150 in 2007 to 127 in 2008).
  • Highway Safety Projects: Centerline rumble strips and cable median barriers reduced high severity crossover collisions. In locations where centerline rumble strips were installed from 2002 to 2008, WSDOT reports a 57% decrease in the rates of serious injury and fatal crossover collisions. Cable median barrier, installed through 2008, reduced the number of fatal and serious injury collisions by 48%.