Washington’s Increased Injury Crashes, DWI Arrests in 2023

The Washington Police Department handled the same number of traffic accidents (435) in 2023 as in the previous year. However, there was a marked increase in the number of accidents involving injury, climbing to 93, up from 66 in 2022. The last time Washington had this many injury-related accidents was in 2018 with 96 reported incidents.

According to the police department’s recently released 2023 Traffic Safety Report, the pattern of injury accidents over the past years was: 61 in 2021, 66 in 2020, 78 in 2019, and 87 in 2017. The total of 435 accidents in 2022 and 2023 indicates a drop from previous years, with data showing 459 in 2021, 495 in 2020, 483 in 2019, 514 in 2018, and 479 in 2017.

The report also cited failure to yield as the most likely cause of accidents in 2023, contributing to 117 accidents. Inattention and following too closely came in second with 69 incidents each. Other causes included incorrect lane usage (35 accidents), and sign or signal violations (34 accidents).

No fatal accidents were reported in Washington in 2023, continuing the trend from 2021 and 2020. However, 55 hit and run accidents were reported, a slight decrease from the 61 in 2022 and 58 in 2021. Drug or alcohol-related accidents dipped to 16 from 24 in the previous year.

Despite the decrease in substance-related accidents, there were 86 arrests made for drunk driving, representing the highest number since at least 2018. To address traffic issues, the Washington Police Department issued more traffic citations in 2023, rising from 1,061 in 2022 to 1,287. The department also received traffic-related grants to aid in regulating hazardous movement, underage drinking and drunk driving. As a result, they utilized $13,742 in extra funding for overtime hours in 2023.

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