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Rate of DUI Crashes Increasing in Tri-City, WSP Reports

All too often, we report on crashes and crash trends that are concerning to us and to our clients here in Washington state. But every now and then, reports concerning growing rates of crashes catch us by surprise. And not in a good way.

According to local news sources, the rates of DUI crashes has increased 68 percent on Tri-City highways. These reports claim that that’s why so many Washington State Patrol troopers are being seen roaming local roads.

During the first six months of 2016, reports show, the number of crashes associated with drunk drivers has increased 68 percent.

Authorities say that part of the problem is that Tri-Cities is growing, which means that a greater number of drivers is hitting the streets. With the gas prices also dropping and the economy growing, many contend, the number of drivers will also grow, putting others in great danger as a result.

To locals who are serious about their safety, however, learning more about these trends may help them to avoid crashes.

According to the reports, the problem areas include the Highway 240 area between Hanford and Kennewick, Interstate 182 in Richland and Pasco, and near the blue bridge on Highway 395. Local law enforcement agents say that they are always responding to calls in these spots.

Between January and July, the WSP registered 823 crashes, which all led to 167 injuries. In 52 of these instances, drivers who were involved were suspected of driving while intoxicated. During the same period last year, 706 crashes were registered that led to 129 injuries. In 31 of these incidents, DUI was suspected.

Data provided by federal agencies show that male drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes that result in fatalities or serious injuries than any other group. While the country was in a recession, fewer young men were employed. Due to the high cost of fuel at the time and the lower rate of employed young men, authorities say, the rate of DUI crashes was much lower.

While authorities vow to make sure that the roads are being patrolled so drunk drivers are spotted and stopped, we urge you to never sit behind the wheel after drinking. Along with distracted driving, drunk driving is one of the most common factors in crashes.

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