State Patrol Emphasizing Campaign To Curb Summer Traffic Deaths
Washington's "Surviving Summer" campaign is in full swing with a goal of reducing serious and fatal crashes during the state's most dangerous travel time.
The highest 90-day stretch for traffic fatalities takes place between early June and early September, when officers handle an average of 60 per month.
State Trooper Jeremy Weber says it's important for drivers to be cautious and watch their rate of speed during summer travel.
"Don't make bad decisions as far as passing people," said Weber. "Everybody's trying to get somewhere. And it's not a race. We've seen people race, and they usually get into trouble."
The top contributing circumstances to fatality crashes are excessive speed, impairment, distraction and failing to grant the right of way.
Weber says drivers also need to be aware of the heavier traffic and construction that take place during the same summer window.
"Everybody, even in my personal life, to get to where I'm going, I do the research first," Weber said. "It's not like it used to be. You just jumped in the car and went. Now we have a lot more traffic out there, a lot more projects."
The "Surviving Summer" campaign is focused specifically between June 9 and September 6, when almost a third of all traffic deaths (31%) occur in Washington state.
Officers also point out that vulnerable roadway users are at risk during this time period, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders.
"Surviving Summer" is a joint effort of the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, which partner with police departments and sheriff's offices across the state in asking the public to participate in their role of ensuring everybody survives summer.