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Washington drivers ranks among top 10 worst by new study

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

“Is it the rain-soaked streets? Is it the legal weed? Is it Seattle’s massive growth?”

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Those are the questions posed by an insurance company that — ahem — claims Washington state is home to the fifth worst drivers in the country.

Behind California, Minnesota, Utah, and South Carolina; Washington state, according to the study, moved from ninth to fifth since 2016. The company behind the study states, “we’re prepared to blame the influx of transplants on the bad driving.”

According to the study, which sampled data from users of the company’s website and compared to data from the Federal Highway Administration, the state’s accident rate increased from 33rd to 14th worst.

Data collected from all 50 states shows that 37,461 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That was an increase of 5.5 percent over 2015.

According to data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the number of serious injuries on the state’s roadways saw a slight increase between 2015 and 2016 while the number of fatalities dropped. There were 2,091 serious injuries and 551 fatalities in 2015; 2,209 serous injuries and 535 fatalities in 2016. In the first two quarters of 2017, there have been 998 serious injuries and 238 fatalities.

Chokepoints

Meanwhile, the state’s population is on an upward trend, with more than 7.3 million people living here — about 100,000 more than in 2016.

And despite the state trying to crack down on distracted driving, the safety commission found that between 2016 and 2017, the statewide estimate of Washington’s driver-distraction rate was 9.2 percent of all drivers in 2016 and 2017.

But can we blame transplants for the shameful ranking, or were we just poor drivers to begin with?

What do you think. Comment below.

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