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What are the most common causes of car accidents in Washington state?

As you probably know, there are many different circumstances that can contribute to a car accident. However, among the many causes, there are certainly a few that play more prominent roles than others. The Washington State Department of Transportation's most recent report summarizing collision data from 2011 provides a helpful look at some of the more common causes of car accidents in Seattle and the rest of the state:

Most Common Causes of Washington Car Accidents—All Collisions

  • Did not grant right of way to vehicle
  • Exceeding reasonable safe speed
  • Following too closely
  • Inattention

Most Common Causes of Washington Car Accidents—Fatal Accidents

  • Under the influence of alcohol
  • Car went over the center line
  • Exceeding reasonable safe speed
  • Exceeding stated speed limit

These were all far and above the most common causes, but there were many others listed including:

  • Disregarding stop light
  • Improper turn
  • Operating defective equipment
  • Driver distractions outside of the vehicle
  • Apparently asleep
  • Driver interacting with passengers, animals or objects in the vehicle
  • Improper passing
  • Under the influence of drugs

It is alarming how many things can cause accidents, so it is your duty as a licensed driver to make sure you do everything you can to drive safely. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to control other drivers on the road, but by operating your vehicle safely, you will hopefully be able to prevent a Washington traffic accident before it occurs.

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