In 2010, Washington launched Target Zero, a plan that aims to have zero traffic fatalities by 2030. Yet, recent data show that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. In this post (updated in May 2022), we’ll take a look at pedestrian fatalities statistics for Washington. Plus, we’ll discuss contributing factors and then end with some practical steps we can all take to reduce these numbers.
More than 100 pedestrians are killed by motorists every year in Washington State. However, that does not paint the full picture of the hundreds of additional pedestrians who are struck and seriously injured on our roads.
The table below contains data about pedestrian-involved crashes in Washington:
|Year||Pedestrians Involved in Crashes||Fatal Crashes||Serious Injury Crashes||Alcohol and/or Drug Related||Distracted Driver|
Data comes from WSDOT and Target Zero.
Of particular concern, we saw a notable spike in pedestrian-involved crashes in 2021, including resulting fatalities and serious injuries. Even though there were fewer overall crashes in 2020, note the higher number of fatalities as compared to prior years.
Bottom line, we are moving away from the goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030 and we’ll need to take drastic action to reverse these trends.
There are situations where collisions with pedestrians become more likely and more deadly. In other words, certain factors increase risks for pedestrians. Some of these include:
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is working to improve pedestrian safety.
First, WSDOT is conducting a number of research studies. For example, the University of Washington is currently working on a Pedestrian Risk assessment. The study is looking at collisions at both intersections and non-intersections. By identifying hotspots, WSDOT can make needed traffic changes.
In addition, the State of Washington pledged $41 million to make safety improvements for pedestrians. Priority for the grant money is given to applications in low-income areas, where infrastructure is often lacking. These programs can make a real difference in their communities. For example, WSDOT evaluated results of projects completed between 2005 and 2015. They discovered a 43% decrease in walking- and biking-related crashes at projects sites.
Finally, Washington is creating new laws that focus on pedestrian safety. In the 2019 legislative session, two new Senate Bills were passed focused on pedestrian safety.
Whether driving or walking, there are a few things we can do to make our roads safer for everyone. For instance, we can:
It’s clear Washington is not on track to achieve its Target Zero goal. The good news is that measures are being put in place to change this situation. And, if we as drivers and pedestrians can do our part to share the roadways, we may help this even further.
Have you been a victim in a car accident? Maybe you were a pedestrian injured by a distracted driver? If so, we’d love to talk to you. Please call the Ladenburg Law Injury Attorneys. When you do, we’ll provide you with a free consultation about your case.