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A Look at Traffic Trends from 2020

Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC April 12, 2021

Auto accidents often happen without a moment’s notice, causing property damage as well as serious injuries. They have the capacity to disrupt a person’s life for weeks or months or sometimes even permanently.

Drivers and passengers in the tri-city region of Washington face dangers from distracted drivers to bad weather to wild animals.

A Look at Washington Crashes for 2020

A report from the Washington State Department of Transportation shows that while most accidents do not result in injuries, many vehicle accidents do cause serious injuries. Of just over 86,000 accidents recorded on state roads in 2020, 2,096 serious injuries likely resulted. Just over 8,100 minor injuries resulted from accidents. For the year, officials recorded 528 fatalities.

A Deeper Look at An Atypical Year

In the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s 2020 report, the summary data showed that last year was anything but normal on Washington roadways and for traffic accidents. The year deviated from previous years in several regards:

  • Traffic volumes decreased by as much as 60% some months

  • Fatal crashes increased by as much as 25% some months

  • Aggressive driving, including speeding, contributed to many serious crashes

The month of August illustrated these trends to an extreme degree. Though traffic volumes remained 15% below 2019 figures, serious injury crashes increased over 42%. During August, fatalities increased by over 68% from the same period the previous year.

One other interesting aspect of Washington roads involved the increase in motorcycle accidents, especially in the spring of 2020. Officials attributed this uptick in crashes to more motorcycle riders looking to engage in social distancing at this time.