Traffic crashes are a significant source of injury burden in King County each year. From 2006 to 2010, 484 people died in King County in a motor vehicle-related crash (average about 97 people per year) and an additional 3,663 people were seriously injured (about 733 people per year).
...Washington Traffic Safety Commission, September 2011
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.
Local traffic safety priorities:
Priority one (involved 40% or more of all King County traffic fatalities*)
- Impaired drivers
Priority two (involved 20 to 39.9% of all KC traffic fatalities*)
- Young drivers (age 16 to 25 years old)
- Unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants
- Distracted driving
Priority three (involved 10 to 19.9% of all KC traffic fatalities*)
- Unlicensed drivers
*Based on 2006 - 2010 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
To learn more about Target Zero, visit the Washington Traffic Safety Commission or the Target Zero website.