Pierce County Sees Increase In Fatal Accidents In 2021

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Pierce County in Washington is on track to double fatal crashes from 2020, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office told news reporters.

Each year, officials said, the county averages 22 total deadly traffic accidents. But in 2021, law enforcement saw about 20 fatal crashes already. Considering we’re about a week from June, officials believe that 2021 could end up breaking previous records.

The most recent deadly accident happened on Friday and it involved a 24-year-old man. Officials said that he crashed his vehicle into a cement wall near Spanaway. 

“It’s like every week we have another fatal collision. It’s just really, really sad,” an official with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office told reporters. “I just hope we don’t continue this trend of fatal accidents.”

Official: Pandemic Changed Driver Behavior

During the pandemic, the traffic changes impacted how drivers behave, officials said. One of these changes involved speed.

With fewer drivers out and about, many ignored speed limits. When vehicles go at high rates of speed, officials explained, drivers have difficulties slowing down or stopping in the case of an emergency. But now that the pandemic restrictions have been mostly lifted, officials have yet to see drivers go back to their usual behavior. Instead, officials said they continue to see drivers going faster than they should.

Intoxicated Driving, Speed Behind Majority Of Fatal Accidents

Despite the changes brought about by the pandemic, officials said that the factors most commonly associated with the deadly crashes they have seen recently haven’t changed.

Speeding and intoxicated driving are at least associated with over half of all fatal accidents, law enforcement told reporters.

In order to avoid serious accidents, drivers must keep in mind that even if roads are clear, that doesn’t mean they should be speeding. Additionally, they should never assume that drinking and driving is ever OK. 

Intoxicated driving is against the law, it is dangerous and it puts lives at risk. If you are planning on going out to drink, plan ahead to make sure you have a designated driver. 

For more on Pierce County’s accident numbers, follow this link.