Law enforcement agencies launch ‘Surviving Summer’ driver safety campaign

Photo courtesy Pixabay

The Washington State Patrol, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and partner law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in a statewide “Surviving Summer: 90 Dangerous Days” campaign, with a goal of reducing serious injury and fatality collisions this summer. 

Since 2018, June, July and August remain the highest consecutive 90-day stretch for traffic-related fatalities within Washington. According to the traffic safety commission, 1,206 lives were lost on state roadways due to fatal crashes within these summer months between 2018 and 2023, with law enforcement responding to an average 67 fatal crashes per month in June, July and August.

“Any life lost is unacceptable,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste in a news release announcing the campaign. “Changing the trends we have observed over of the past few years takes the effort of everyone in our community, including you as the driver.” 

The 90-day period on average accounts for 32% of all traffic deaths statewide, with impairment involved in 55% of summertime crashes. According to WTSC data, the collisions most often occur on state routes and county roadways between Friday and Sunday. Other common contributing factors include speed (34%) and distraction (18%) during this three-month period. 

“We all want to get out and enjoy the beauty of Washington during the summer, and we also want to get to our destinations safely,” said Shelly Baldwin, director of the traffic safety commission. “We can all stay safer by doing four simple things on our roadways: follow posted speeds, pay attention to other road users, drive sober and buckle up.” 

Those at risk are not just drivers – but also vulnerable roadway users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders. Half of all motorcycle fatalities occur during June, July and August. July is when the greatest number of bicyclist fatalities occur. 


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