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What Washington cities have the most distracted drivers?

(AP File Photo)

It’s safe to assume that numerous drivers are engaging in distracted driving on the road, but a new study shows that some local Washington cities do it more than others.

According to a new study by QuoteWizard, of the 11,504 distracted driving crashes in the state during 2017, Edmonds had the highest rate based on population size (of 42,000) with 276 related accidents. That doubles second-placed SeaTac, where 115 distracted driving incidents occurred among the 29,000-plus population.

RELATED: A refresher on Washington’s distracted driving law

As Seattle Times notes, if SeaTac and Edmonds residents are a tad surprised, they at least have the potential excuse that both cities receive a regular influx of visitors from other cities, considering that SeaTac houses the airport and Edmonds the ferry terminal. Perhaps they’re partially responsible for causing the accidents.

Tacoma doesn’t have that excuse, and came in third with 661 distracted driving incidents among its over 200,000 people. And perhaps surprisingly, Seattle was all the way down in 10th at 1,347 incidents in a population of 720,000.

RELATED: Distracted driving one year into tougher restrictions

City rankings aside, a recent survey from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission reported a decrease in distracted drivers in both King County and the rest of the state between 2017 and 2018.

The WTSC’s report estimated that roughly 8.2 percent of drivers in 2018 were distracted in some way, down from 9.2 percent in 2017. That number encompasses any action that diverts the attention of a driver, including talking on a phone, smoking, eating, grooming, reading, and more.

The most significant change for Washington drivers, though, came for drivers on phones, down from 5.7 percent in 2017, all the way to 3.4 percent in 2018.

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