A recent study looked at the cities in Washington with the most distracted-driving crashes per capita. A separate study named Washington one of the strictest states in the nation when it comes to traffic tickets.
Seattle drivers may not be the best at staying focused on the task at hand, but at least six other Washington cities have higher rates of distracted driving, according to a new study by QuoteWizard.
Topping the list is Edmonds, according to the insurance comparison website, which ranked cities based on per-capita crash figures from the state Department of Transportation. The survey said that in 2017, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, there were 276 distracted-driving crashes in Edmonds, a city with a population of 42,000 people.
“The frequency of distracted driving accidents (in Edmonds) is nearly double that of SeaTac, the next city on the list, and almost triple that of neighboring Lynnwood,” the report states.
According to the survey, 11,504 distracted-driving crashes happened in Washington in 2017, with 87 fatalities.
SeaTac had the second-highest rate of distracted driving crashes per capita in the state, with 115 crashes and a population of about 29,000 people.
Take these top two with a grain of salt, however. Both cities are visited constantly by drivers who don’t live there — SeaTac because of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Edmonds because of its ferry terminal — so it may not be residents of either place boosting the numbers.
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Tacoma came in third with a population of more than 200,000 residents and 661 distracted-driving crashes. In fourth place, Lakewood had 181 distracted driving crashes out of a population of 60,000. Everett was in fifth with 249 distracted driving crashes out of a population of more than 110,000.
Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Bellevue and Bothell also were ahead of Seattle, which ranked 10th with more than 1,340 distracted driving accidents in a city of nearly 730,000.
With all that distracted driving out there, some scofflaw will eventually learn that Washington state takes its ticket writing seriously.
A separate study, completed by WalletHub, found that Washington is among the worst, and most stringent, states in the nation to get a traffic violation. The study evaluated speed limits, when speeding is considered reckless driving, the type of speed limit, the average increase in cost of insurance after one speeding ticket, the laws in place prohibiting racing on highways, whether the state uses automatic speed cameras, whether the state has additional penalties for aggressive driving, and how much speeding tickets count toward a suspension.
The study, based on data from the U.S Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, also looked at maximum fines, what triggers a license suspension and how hard it is to get your license back.
The WalletHub study put Washington in a four-way tie for eighth place with Alabama, Illinois and Virginia. Oregon ranked sixth, with slightly stricter traffic penalties than in Washington. The top five were California, a tie between Arizona and New Mexico, Colorado and, the strictest, Delaware.