Efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 — including statewide school closures, workers telecommuting and other residents staying home — led to a drastic decline in the number of vehicle accidents in Washington, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties last week.
According to Washington State Patrol collision data for March 16-20, there were 656 collisions reported compared to 2,014 in 2019, a decline of 67% statewide. There were only seven serious injury accidents, down from 32 last year, a 78% decline, and no fatal collisions last week, compared to 12 from March 18-22, 2019.
“Our collision numbers statewide are lower compared to this time last year. Anyone driving on the roadways in the past weeks can attest to there being less traffic volume,” said Trooper Chelsea Hodgson, WSP District 8 public information officer.
Grays Harbor had six collisions last week between Monday and Friday, down from 12 a year before, according to the WSP. Pacific County had just one collision last week, down from seven in 2019.
The WSP reported two collisions in Aberdeen last week compared to four in 2019. Hoquaim had three collisions last week and three in 2019.
Collisions on were also down on highways including I-5, down 189 to 39 (-79%), I-90 32 to 6 (-81%), SR-12 8 to 3 (-63%), SR-101 6-3 (-50%).
“With our mission revolving around roadway safety, we are always pleased to see fewer collisions — especially any involving injuries or fatalities, Hodgson said.
“WSP continues to work the roadways and enforce traffic laws to keep our communities safe. For those who are unable to stay home and are driving, we ask they continue to do so safely. Obey posted speed limits, adjust for any adverse weather or road conditions and keep your eyes on the road by being distraction free,” she said.