Washington State was ranked 5th worst state for driving in 2017 according to Quote Wizard. Quote wizard looked at accident rates between states to rank the drivers. No surprise on who was number one on this list, California. However, two through four on states with the most car accidents was a surprise – Minnesota, Utah, and South Carolina.
Accident rates as a whole have been going up across the country as more and more people are hitting the road with a booming economy again. Additionally, car accident related deaths are also on the rise according to the New York Times. Car accident related deaths rose a whopping 6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. However, in Washington State, traffic related deaths fell 5% in 2016 from 2015 but rose 15% since 2014.
Why does Washington have so many car accidents, especially recently? The reason is almost certainly due to the influx in people coming to Washington State everyday for new jobs from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Starbucks, Microsoft, and more. In 2017, the Stranger posted an article stated that 1,000 people are moving to Seattle every week! More people on the road means more chances for car accidents.
More people on the road coupled with less room on the road, at least in the short term, equals more car accidents. However, it doesn’t seem like more room on the road is actually going to happen any time soon. Instead, Seattle and King county is focusing on actually decreasing the room on the road in favor of creating more room for mass transit systems like the light rail. King county just recently took down the express lanes on I-90 in favor of using those lanes instead for light rail.
Light rail so far has done nothing to decrease congestion on the roads and it probably won’t do anything to lessen traffic on the roads for a very long time. It’s not because the option is not there, it is more because people do not feel comfortable riding light rail and would rather have the ability to chose their own destiny and be on the road, no matter the cost. In fact, a light rail booster even said that light rail will do nothing to decrease traffic in King County.
Right now, it is faster to drive downtown than it is to drive to a park and ride and take two transfers on a bus to get to your destination. This could change but not for a very long time. Unless light rail gets giant park and rides in every neighborhood, I really don’t see how many people are going to be taking light rail versus driving in. Unless congestion gets to a point where it takes longer to drive than to drive to a light rail station and park your car by probably at least an hour, I don’t see it happening.
If you have been injured in a car accident, please contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Seattle personal injury lawyers are paid out of the settlement so everyone can afford a lawyer but you can’t afford not to have one against insurance companies.