Behind the Numbers: Analyzing Seattle’s Car Accident Statistics

Behind the Numbers: Analyzing Seattle’s Car Accident Statistics

Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, is a beautiful and bustling metropolis in the Pacific Northwest. However, despite its scenic surroundings and modern amenities, Seattle is not immune to car accidents. In fact, analyzing Seattle’s car accidents statistics reveals some alarming trends.

According to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), there were a total of 10,614 reported car accidents in Seattle in 2021. Of these, 2,424 resulted in serious injuries, while 41 were fatal. This means that on average, there were nearly 29 car accidents per day in Seattle, resulting in at least 7 serious injuries and one fatality per week.

Major Accidents

The SDOT also reports that the majority of car accidents in Seattle occur at intersections. In fact, intersections account for over 50% of all car accidents in the city. This is perhaps not surprising, given the heavy traffic and high volume of pedestrians in many of Seattle’s busy intersections. However, it is concerning that so many accidents are occurring in these areas, as they are often preventable with proper traffic control and safety measures.

Different Type of Vehicles

Another trend that emerges from analyzing Seattle’s car accident statistics is that certain types of vehicles are involved in accidents more frequently than others. For example, SUVs and pickup trucks are involved in a disproportionate number of accidents compared to their overall prevalence on Seattle’s roads. This may be due to the increased size and weight of these vehicles, which can make them more difficult to maneuver and stop in emergency situations.

Distracted Driving

Additionally, distracted driving is a growing problem in Seattle and is a contributing factor in many car accidents. The SDOT reports that in 2021, distracted driving was a factor in nearly 20% of all car accidents in the city. This includes activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, and using in-vehicle technology while driving. These distractions can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react to changes in traffic conditions, increasing the likelihood of a car accident.

Finally, it is worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on car accident statistics in Seattle. In 2020, there were only 7,809 reported car accidents in the city, a decrease of nearly 30% compared to 2019. This is likely due to the reduced traffic volume and fewer people commuting to work during the pandemic. However, as Seattle returns to a more normal post-pandemic routine, it is possible that car accident rates will rise again.


Analyzing Seattle’s car accident statistics reveals some troubling trends, including a high number of accidents at intersections, a disproportionate involvement of certain types of vehicles, and a growing problem of distracted driving. While some of these trends may be difficult to address, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve traffic safety in Seattle and reduce the number of car accidents on the city’s roads.


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