OLYMPIA, Wash.-Traffic deaths in Washington reached a 33-year high in 2023.
There were 810 traffic deaths on Washington roads last year, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, a 10 percent increase over 2022 and the highest number of deaths since 1990.
Traffic deaths include car crashes, as well as people on bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians.

“Serious crashes are not accidents,” said Shelly Baldwin, Director of the WTSC. “We know what causes them and what can prevent them. The single most important safety feature of any vehicle is the driver.”
According to the WTSC, 157 pedestrians were killed in 2023, while 141 motorcyclists died on Washington’s roads, both numbers were all-time highs.

2023 traffic death statistics from the WTSC:

Deaths that involved a drug or alcohol impaired driver: 400
Deaths that involved speeding: 251
Deaths from not wearing seatbelts: 171
Deaths that involved a distracted driver: 135
“This trend is not just alarming – it’s unacceptable,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “Driving sober, obeying the speed limit, avoiding distractions, and buckling up – these are all the safe choices – the right choices – that need to be made on our roadways.”
“These numbers are really alarming,” said WSP Trooper Chris Thorson. “We were hoping the trend would go downward but in fact it’s going up.”
According to Thorson, distracted driving is on the rise.
“We talk about it all the time, but people simply aren’t putting their cell phones down,” said Thorson. “What we recommend is either turning your cell phone off or putting it on mute and putting it somewhere away from you so you’re not tempted to look at it while you’re driving down the road.”


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