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The Most Dangerous Roads & Intersections in Washington

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Home Blog Auto Accident The Most Dangerous Roads & Intersections in Washington

Key Takeaways

  • The deadliest roads in Washington state include Interstate 5, U.S. Route 2, and State Route 522.
  • Several factors, such as inclement weather, speed, trucks, and others, can contribute to the severity of car crash injuries in Washington State.
  • The most dangerous roads in Washington are not necessarily the most poorly maintained, as some are simply dangerous from the sheer amount of traffic, improper or inadequate signage and warnings, and even lines of sight due to roadside brush or buildings.
  • By following safe driving practices, you can reduce your risk of being injured in an accident.

In 2023, a stretch of Highway 395 saw two fatal car crashes within a week. Even when crashes are not fatal, the damage they can cause can easily change someone’s life forever. At McPartland Law, we are all too familiar with how devastating these accidents can be, so it is especially important to be wary of the most dangerous roads and intersections throughout the state of Washington.

Take a closer look at some of the most dangerous roads and intersections in Washington, and discover what you can do to reduce your risk of suffering an accident. If you have been injured in one of the dangerous roads listed, reach out to McPartland Law Offices immediately for a free consultation.

Washington Car Accident Statistics

In 2023, there were 3,598 accidents in Washington that were either fatal or had serious injuries. 1,246, or over a third of those, occurred in intersections. Throughout the year, 797 people died in car accidents in the state, with 199 of those involving heavy trucks.

Related Article: Why Do Truck Accidents Happen

The Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections in Washington State

winding road in washington state

Pacific Highway

The Pacific Highway, or Washington State Route 99, is among the most dangerous roadways in the state due in large part to its lack of a singular identity. This roadway strives to be two things at once: a street and a road. Roads are designed to facilitate high volumes of traffic quickly across distances, while streets are designed to allow for quick coming and going from close destinations like homes, shops, and other places people visit.

On Route 99, you can expect multiple lanes of speedy traffic having to deal with numerous cars trying to merge onto the highway from one of the many businesses and side streets. State Route 99 has a dangerous combination of fast-moving and slow-moving traffic, which only increases the danger on the road.

U.S. Highway 2

U.S. Route 2 is not necessarily a dangerous highway if you look at Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) statistics involving fatal crashes per mile, but this highway is notably remote and can be rough to traverse, especially during inclement weather. If you get in a serious accident on this road, you may find yourself far away from any potential help. The closest hospital may be hours away, and it could take more than an hour for first responders to even reach you if you can manage to get a signal clear enough to call emergency services or are lucky enough for someone else to see the accident. In some cases, the road seems completely deserted, and it can remain that way for hours.

Interstate 5

Interstate 5 is one of the busiest federal ways in America’s Pacific Northwest, seeing more than 200,000 cars and trucks passing through every single day. While the road does not have any particular flaws that make it especially dangerous, it is statistically the site of many serious accidents simply due to the sheer number of vehicles on the road. In recent years, nearly 300 people have died in deadly crashes that occurred on this interstate.

State Route 522

State Route 522 is known locally as the highway of death, which is no coincidence. The road is exceptionally curvy, without many dividers or guardrails to keep traffic in order. If you ever find yourself on this road, be sure to drive as carefully as possible. If you can, it is generally best to avoid it altogether.

16th Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard Intersection

Intersections anywhere can be dangerous since they’re the site of traffic going in conflicting directions, but they are staftistically more dangerous in densely populated areas. This is especially true in places like Yakima, such as the intersection of 16th Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard.

Risk Factors for Car Accident Injuries and Fatalities

Several risk factors contribute to the overall potential severity of any accident. By mitigating as many of these risk factors as possible, you reduce your chances of getting seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident.

Seat Belts

Wearing your seat belt is not only legally required, but it can help protect against more serious injuries in accidents. Seat belts work by preventing your body from impacting other surfaces in a crash while keeping your body stable. In some instances, a seat belt is the only thing preventing one’s body from becoming a projectile.

Impact Location

When in an accident, the exact location where your vehicle is struck can impact the severity of your injuries. This also applies to where you are sitting in the car. The back seat is generally safer, so young kids should always be riding in the back when possible.

Speed

The faster one is going, the more severe the injuries from an accident tend to be. That rule of thumb has consistently corresponded with car crash fatalities statistics. It’s important to remember, however, that even low-speed collisions can result in serious injuries or death.

Airbags

Airbags are designed to reduce impacts to the head, neck, and chest, so they work together with seat belts to mitigate some of the damage done in an accident. While serious injuries and even death can still occur when airbags are properly used, high-quality airbags can do much to reduce the severity of injuries.

Weather

While weather doesn’t directly contribute to injuries in accidents most of the time, it heavily influences the conditions in which accidents occur. For example, rain can make traction more difficult and contribute to limited sight. More than 10% of collisions in Washington occurred while it was raining.

Why Clients Choose McPartland Law Offices

McPartland Law Offices has extensive experience with complex personal injury cases throughout Washington, winning millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. You could become part of that success, as our lawyers work to level the playing field for accident victims who find themselves going up against giant insurance companies. With a communicative attorney-client relationship, you can approach your case with confidence and focus on recovery from your injuries while we handle the terms regarding legal issues. Take a look at what some of our previous clients had to say about our services.

Testimonials

“I was in need of Bryce’s expert representation on a difficult case. He was outstanding and negotiated a very reasonable settlement for my permanent injuries. I don’t believe I would have been treated fairly without his representation and expertise. Thanks, Bryce and team.” — Lucy P.

“Bryce was very professional, concise, and informative. He provided succinct answers and demonstrated very well-rounded knowledge of our questions. If you need an attorney with this expertise, don’t walk to his office; run.” — Chuck Y.

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of a Car Accident in Washington

Man behind the wheel of his car buckling his seat belt

To reduce the risk of a car accident in Washington, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Exercise caution when driving in inclement weather like heavy rain.
  • Watch out for heavy trucks when merging onto the highway.
  • Practice defensive driving techniques.
  • Keep your car properly serviced and mechanically functional.
  • Do not drive when you are tired.
  • Never practice drunk driving or driving under the influence.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Maintain compliance with the posted speed limit.

Careful Representation When You Need It Most

A car accident can be a life-changing experience, and navigating the complex legal system is likely the last thing you want to do when trying to recover from your injuries. McPartland Law Offices can handle it for you, thanks to our experienced Washington personal injury attorneys. Get in touch with our team by calling 509-495-1247 or by filling out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Deadliest Highway in Washington?

The deadliest highway in Washington is statistically I-5 with 45 fatal crashes in 2022. This is an extremely busy highway that sees a lot of traffic every day, so it is important to exercise caution when traveling to avoid fatal accidents.

What Should I Do Immediately After a Collision in a High-Risk Area?

After a collision in a high-risk area, you should take the following actions to maintain your safety and get the help you need.

  1. Maintain your own safety and that of others, and move your car away from traffic if possible.
  2. Call the police and emergency services for medical attention.
  3. Take photos of the damage and your injuries if possible.
  4. Exchange insurance information with other drivers involved.
  5. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as you are able.