Vancouver has the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries statewide, according to WSDOT. The city of Vancouver counted about 400 pedestrian-vehicle collisions, about 26 percent of which were fatal or resulted in serious injuries.
Nearly 45 percent of Vancouver’s streets are four- and five-lane roads, yet they were home to more than 55 percent of crashes the city counted. Pedestrians were also most at risk on those streets than smaller roads. About 63 percent of pedestrians struck on city streets in the last seven years were hit on four- or five-lane roads.
“We are hurting pedestrians because speeds are higher. Anything over 20 mph, and the potential of severity skyrockets,” said Beth Wemple, a transportation safety engineer from HDR who worked with the city on the analysis.
The report also found the city’s young drivers are more often involved in car crashes than any other group, but when they are involved, someone isn’t usually hurt or killed. Young drivers, between ages 16 and 25, were involved in about 3,500 crashes, but only about 2 percent were fatal or serious.
In crashes that resulted in someone being killed or seriously hurt, distraction, speed, alcohol and unrestrained passengers were the most common factors. However, the distribution wasn’t even across the board. In 2015, distraction or inattention was a factor in more than 500 crashes; intoxication was present in fewer than 100.