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What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington?

January 19, 2021 – Matt Albrecht

What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Washington?

Traffic collisions are the leading cause of accidental injuries in Washington. According to data published by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), approximately 150 crashes are reported every day in the state. Car accidents happen for a wide variety of different reasons. Here, our Spokane car accident attorneys review the WSDOT data and highlight the four most commonly cited reasons for car crashes.

Four Most Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Washington

Distracted or Inattentive Driving

The WSDOT’s official report on car accidents and contributing circumstances finds that “intention/driver distraction” is the single most common reason why crashes occur in our state. In fact, distracted driving is cited more than twice as often in Washington car accidents as any other contributing factor. Distracted driving comes in many different specific forms—from texting and driving to motorists simply losing focus on the road. Distracted driving is dangerous driving.


After distracted driving, the most common causal factor cited in Washington car accidents is excess speeding. Notably, excess speed usually (but not always) means a driver operating above the legal speed limit. That being said, in poor road or weather conditions, a driver going below the speed limit may still be going too fast to operate safely. Not only does speeding make crashes more likely, it increases the risk of serious injuries.

Failure to Yield

All motorists in Washington have the legal responsibility to yield the right of way. When drivers fail to do so, it could cause a significant accident. Washington State authorities report that nearly 20,000 crashes occur each year because a motorist failed to properly yield the right of way. A driver who fails to yield can be held legally liable for any injuries or damages that occur in a crash. If you were injured in a crash with a driver who failed to yield the right of way, an experienced Spokane, WA attorney can help you recover full and fair financial compensation.

Following too Closely

Following too closely is the fourth leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in Washington. Most of these accidents are rear-end collisions. Sometimes referred to as ‘tailgating’, following too closely occurs when a driver fails to leave adequate space between their vehicle and the vehicle immediately in front of them. Following too closely can happen for a number of different reasons—from overly aggressive driving to a driver simply losing focus on the road. All motorists have a basic legal obligation to leave enough braking distance between their car and other cars.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer in Spokane

At‌ ‌Albrecht‌ ‌Law‌ ‌PLLC, our Spokane car accident injury attorneys are standing by, ready to help you recover full financial support. You do not have to go up against a large insurance company all alone. Contact us now for a free review of your case. We serve communities throughout all of Eastern Washington, including Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Harrington, Sprauge, Ritzville, and Washtucna.

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