Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington

Vehicle accidents can cause severe injuries and property damage for Washington residents. Anytime a person is involved in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Here, we want to examine some of the most common causes of car accidents in Washington. In understanding how accidents are most likely to occur, you will be able to take the steps necessary to increase your safety on the roadway as well as the safety of others.

Car Crashes in Washington Have a Variety of Causes

Data available from the Washington Department of Transportation shows that there were more than 86,000 total vehicle crashes reported in the state during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were:

  • 525 fatalities
  • 2,080 suspected serious injuries
  • 8,144 suspected minor injuries
  • 15,239 possible injuries

Vehicle accidents occur in a wide variety of ways. Some of the most common causes of fatal and serious injury crashes in Washington include:

Drunk driving

The Washington DOT shows that there were 465 fatal or suspected serious injury crashes caused by alcohol impairment during the latest reporting year across the state. Unfortunately, drunk driving remains a leading cause of fatal vehicle accidents year after year in Washington and throughout the US – which can mean that a Seattle wrongful death lawyer could be needed in these cases. 


In 2020, there were 674 total fatal and suspected serious injury crashes caused by speed-related incidents. Drivers who operate above the posted speed limit or too fast for conditions create needlessly unsafe situations on the roadways. Driving too fast for conditions increases the chance of those involved in the crash sustaining significant injuries.

Distracted driving

The Washington Department of Transportation shows that there were 470 total fatal or suspected serious injury crashes caused by distraction or inattention of a motorist. There are various ways for drivers to become distracted behind the wheel, including talking on a cell phone, sending or receiving a text message, browsing social media, taking pictures, eating or drinking, reaching for something in the vehicle, talking to other passengers, etc.

Failing to yield

Failing to yield the right of way is a recipe for disaster. It is crucial for drivers to understand who has the right of way when it comes to intersections, merging, changing lanes, and more. When drivers fail to yield, this can result in a range of different types of accidents, including T-bone collisions, rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, and more.

Disregard of traffic signals

Anytime a driver disregards a traffic sign or signal, they are likely to be involved in a vehicle accident. Stop signs and stoplights, as well as any other type of warning sign or signal, are there to prevent accidents from occurring.

Work With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Washington, reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney in Seattle can get involved quickly and handle every aspect of your case. A Seattle car accident lawyer will help by investigating the incident to prove liability and negotiating with insurance carriers to recover total compensation.