As of Friday, March 14, 2014
Yakima County had a motor vehicle accident fatality rate twice that of the rest of the state in 2012.
That’s according to a Washington state collision summary for 2012 published recently by the Washington Safety Traffic Commission.
In 2012, Yakima County had 1.79 motor vehicle fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers. The state average that same year was .85.
That year, Yakima County had 31 fatalities from motor vehicle collisions, the fourth most among Washington counties in 2012. Statewide, there were 438 motor vehicle collision fatalities.
For 2012 there were a total of 99,560 motor vehicle collisions in Washington state. Of those, 3,541 were in Yakima County.
The only area where the county had better statistics than the state average was in the collision rate per 10,000 registered passenger vehicles. Statewide that average for 2012 was 165.8 collisions per registered passenger vehicle, while in Yakima County it was 160.8.
The 2012 collision summary also focused on the number of accidents for each city.
Sunnyside, for example, had a total of 160 collisions in 2012, causing 44 injuries and two fatalities.
Grandview had 82 motor vehicle collisions in 2012, resulting in 26 injuries and one fatality.
The city of Yakima had not surprisingly because of its size the most collisions, with 1,578. That led to 591 injuries, but no fatalities.
The second most for 2012 were in unincorporated areas of Yakima County, where there were 1,302 accidents, causing 425 injuries and 23 deaths.
The single highest group of drivers involved in collisions in this state for 2012 were males ages 25 to 34. That age group accounted for 20,605 drivers involved in collisions.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports excessive speed, failure to yield right-of-way and inattention/distraction were the leading factors for collisions caused by drivers.
In addition, half of all traffic fatalities in 2012 involved an impaired driver, the commission noted.