IF YOU DRIVE A CAR IN WASHINGTON, YOU PROBABLY SPEED

A recent study conducted by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) has revealed that most of the state's drivers are speeding when behind the wheel.

The study canvased roadways of all types in over 200 locations throughout the state, including more than a dozen in North Central Washington, and discovered that 76% of drivers traveled at speeds above the posted limit.

Among those who were speeding, 51% were traveling within 5 mph above the posted limit; 43% traveled within 6-15 mph over the limit; 5% drove 16-25 mph above the posted limit; and 1% were going in excess of 25 mph over the limit.

LAW ENFORCEMENT IS STOPPING MORE DRIVERS THAN EVER FOR SPEEDING

Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeremy Weber says his agency routinely stops hundreds, and even thousands of drivers every month who are speeding on the roads of North Central Washington.

"Just in February alone within our region, which covers Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, and Okanogan Counties, we had 2,418 speed contacts. Among those, 645 were considered aggressive driving, which usually constitutes driving at least 20 mph over the speed limit or the committal of two violations at the same time."

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NOT ALL ROADS ARE CREATED EQUAL WHEN IT COMES TO FATALITY COLLISIONS

Excessive speed is a contributing factor in over 30% of the fatality collisions that occur annually in Washington, and metrics indicate that for every 1% increase in driver speed there is a 4% increase in traffic fatalities.

The WTSC says 28% of the state's traffic fatalities happen on county roads; 27% on State Routes; 24% on city streets; 12% on Interstate freeways; and 8% on U.S. Highways.

Roads where there are more intersections, oncoming traffic, driveways, pedestrians, and cyclists have been found to be more prone to traffic fatalities.

PLAN AHEAD AND SLOW DOWN

As to the mentality behind speeding, Weber believes some, if not most of the issue could be related to a lack of proper time management by drivers.

"I'm not sure why people choose to go so fast. Maybe they're running late? If that's the case, my advice would be to plan ahead. It's not like it used to be around here. I've lived in Wenatchee for thirty years and I remember when you could get wherever you needed to go in five to ten minutes all the time. Now, there's a lot more traffic though, so if you people don't leave early enough to get where they're going on time, they're left trying to make up some time on the backend by speeding to get there quicker."

The WTSC also says there's been a dramatic increase in the number of fatality collisions involving pedestrians in Washington over the past ten years, with 20% of all road user fatalities now involving at least one pedestrian.