Western Washington state drivers are driving recklessly and putting lives at risk at a greater rate, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) told reporters. As more people get back to work, officials said, violent behavior among motorists is becoming more predominant. But as reckless driving becomes a growing concern locally, officials are not sure what is causing this behavior change.
According to one WSP trooper whose district covers Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and Island Counties, officials registered 13,870 road rage and reckless driving instances in the region in 2019. In 2020, however, this number dropped to 12,375. Between January 1 to August 1, 2021, the number jumped to 14,848 incidents.
Reckless driving incidents registered by officials include drivers throwing axes, eggs, or other objects at people on the freeway or deliberately slamming their vehicles into others. People are also “displaying their firearms and intimidating [others],” a WSP trooper said.
In addition, troopers are also seeing more shootings on the I-5 corridor.
While WSP troopers are not sure what factor has helped to boost the cases of reckless driving, it is clear that this trend is making Western Washington roads less safe.
Preventing A Reckless Driving Accident
Until officials are able to identify what is behind the increase in reckless driving in Western Washington, drivers can follow certain tips in order to avoid accidents.
If you spot cars or motorists who are driving recklessly, tailgating too closely, weaving in and out of traffic, or speeding excessively, avoid collisions by moving over a few lanes and getting out of the way. If possible, report these dangerous drivers to the police, but only do so after pulling over to a safe spot where you can park your car and make use of your phone.
Stay alert and never drive while distracted. Being focused on the road will help you to identify potential problems ahead of time and act quickly to prevent crashes.
For more on what officials are saying about Western Washington drivers, follow this link.