Seattle Car Accident Statistics


Seattle-area residents know how difficult driving can be in the metro area. A variety of factors contribute to the high number of traffic accidents in our city.

The population of Seattle is 733,919, and the population of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area is nearly 4.1 million as of 2022. This makes the Seattle area the 15th most populous metro area in the U.S., by one estimate.

Seattle-area drivers are continually ranked near the bottom for driver safety when compared to other metro areas in the U.S. A report by Allstate Insurance ranked Seattle number 155 out of 200 cities in terms of driver safety. Drivers in Seattle file an auto insurance claim an average of once every 7.7 years.

Contributing Factors To Accidents in Seattle

The main contributing factors to these accidents were distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and failure to yield to pedestrians.

Traffic congestion also makes for difficult and frustrating driving conditions in Seattle. On average, Seattle drivers spend up to 138 hours a year sitting in traffic – the national average is 97. Seattle is ranked the 6th worst city in the U.S. for traffic congestion.

2022 Car Accident Statistics 

Car accident statistics in Seattle continue to reflect a concerning trend. In 2022, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported a total of 8,192 auto-related accidents. Unfortunately, 36 people were killed and 243 were seriously injured in Seattle in 2022.

Overview of Seattle Distracted Driving Accidents

  • In 2022, Seattle reported a total of 1,431 crashes involving a distracted driver
  • Cell phone usage contributed to 52 of these reported accidents
  • According to the WSDOT report, there were 74 total crashes involving distracted teen drivers (16 to 19 years of age)

Overview of Alcohol-Involved Accidents in Seattle

  • In 2022, there were a total of 579 alcohol-involved crashes in Seattle. Six people were killed and another 29 were seriously injured.
  • There were 14 crashes involving a pedestrian that was under the influence of alcohol and 3 crashes involving a cyclist under the influence

Seattle Car Accident Statistics

Seattle’s Busiest Roads

Like any metropolitan area, certain areas are busier and more dangerous than others. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, the busiest roads in Seattle on the average weekday are:

  • Northeast 45th Street (west of Roosevelt Way Northeast)
  • Mercer Street (west of Fairview)
  • East Marginal Way South (south of Alaska Street)
  • Aurora Avenue North (south of Harrison)
  • West Seattle Bridge. Every day, more than 90,000 drivers cross this bridge.

Additionally, I-5, I-90, I-405, and other interstate highways in Seattle can get extremely congested, due to commuter traffic, Sea-Tac Airport traffic, downtown traffic, and more.

Additional Resources: [Study] The Deadliest Highways in the United States


[Interactive Map] See the Deadliest Areas on US Highways

Injured? Contact our Seattle car accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.

Seattle’s Vision Zero Plan

Seattle’s Vision Zero plan refers to a comprehensive plan aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. This initiative aligns with an international movement focused on promoting street safety and prioritizing the well-being of all individuals who use Seattle’s roads. 

Vision Zero represents a shift in the way we approach transportation safety, encouraging a culture of compassion and respect. Vision Zero launched in 2015 and continues to refine its strategies based on best practices, all while remaining committed to its equally important climate action and racial equity goals.

Considering all of this, Seattle drivers should take driving safety very seriously. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. Driver negligence in its many forms can have dire effects on driver safety. The result? More car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents within the city – leading to more serious injuries and unnecessary deaths.

Additional Resources: 10 Most Dangerous States for Pedestrians


If you or a loved one have been injured in a car or pedestrian accident in Seattle, get a local personal injury attorney on your case as soon as possible.

At Elk & Elk, we are experienced, approachable, and we get results. You don’t have to face the aftermath of an accident alone. Whether you were injured by a driver who was distracted, drunk, speeding, or otherwise negligent, we can help you.

Schedule a free consultation at our downtown Seattle office. You can call us at 1-844-ELK-WEST. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us no attorney fees unless we recover money for you.