Traffic crashes are a significant source of injury burden in King County each year.
From 2008 to 2012, 424 people died in King County in a motor vehicle-related crash (average about 85 people per year) and an additional 3,182 people were seriously injured (about 636 people per year.)
Washington Traffic Safety Commission, July 2013
In addition to the impact on victims, families and friends, traffic crashes are costly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that traffic collision deaths cost Washington state $665 million in just one year. This does not include costs associated with serious and minor injuries.
Public Health — Seattle & King County works to prevent traffic crashes from happening and to reduce death and serious injury among people who suffer a crash.
- The Violence & Injury Prevention Unit organizes traffic safety patrols, provides public education, and carries out other activities to prevent traffic injuries.
- The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division provides injured people with the care to save lives and lessen long-term disability. The EMS Division also provides traffic safety resources for children.
Washington state is building traffic safety partnerships throughout the state to align priorities and leverage resources to improve traffic safety. The state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero sets out to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero by the year 2030.
Target Zero strategies focus on the Four "E's": Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Medical Services. The Violence & Injury Prevention Unit sets local interventions to address local Target Zero priority areas and works to change driver and occupant behavior for safer communities through education and enforcement in King County.
Traffic safety priorities are determined by data from Washington State traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Local traffic safety priorities:
- Impaired drivers
- Young drivers (age 16 to 25 years old)
- Distracted drivers
- Unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants
- Unlicensed drivers
- Older drivers (age 75+)
- Drowsy drivers
Source: 2013 Target Zero Priorities