While Labor Day has been the worst holiday weekend for fatal accidents across the United States, Memorial Day is a close second. During the 2023 Memorial Day weekend in Washington state, officials saw, once again, several accidents take place. The high rates of driver infractions and accidents are concerning officials, local news outlets have reported.
Deadly Traffic Accidents Still A Concern During Holiday Weekends Nationwide
Between 2012 and 2022, a total of 4,797 people lost their lives in Memorial Day traffic accidents across the country, an average of 480 per year. With an average of 52 deadly accidents reported each year, Texas is the state with the most Memorial Day fatalities in the country. In Washington, an average of eight people die each year in Memorial Day crashes.
In 2023, Washington State Patrol (WSP)’s District 8 officials registered a total of 30 collisions during their Memorial Day Weekend patrols. At least one resulted in a fatality. Additionally, officials pulled over 814 drivers for speeding infractions, 265 for aggressive driving, 58 for seat belt violations, and 17 for distracted driving.
“This is one of the busier Memorial Days since the pandemic,” WSP Trooper Joshua H. Magerstaedt told news outlets. “I believe it’s consistent with pre-pandemic levels of travel.”
Labor Day, Memorial Day Weekends Remain The Busiest In WA
When discussing this year’s numbers, Magerstaedt confirmed that both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are the busiest for WSP officials.
“In the spectrum of holidays that are on our radar, I would say in terms of traffic concerns MDW and Labor day weekend are the big two for summer,” he explained. “Fourth of July tends to depend on the day it falls on.”
Covering Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties, District 8 officials said that so far in 2023, they have investigated over 855 collisions. At least 202 accidents resulted in injury while five resulted in fatalities.
For more on WSP officials’ busy Memorial Day weekend, follow this link.