This year, Pacific County has seen a record-high number of collisions caused by speeding.
From January to September, a total of 58 collisions involving at least one driver who was speeding too fast for weather conditions were recorded in the county, according to Washington State Patrol.
The number is noticeably higher to 2017, which had only 12 reported collisions related to speeding and weather conditions. In 2016, there were 20 reported accidents.
This year, WSP District 8 responded to 341 collisions involving speeding too fast for roadway conditions. This figure doesn’t include data from October. District 8 serves Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.
As of Oct. 24, two collisions resulting in deaths occurred within District 8 in October. Both incidents were in Jefferson County and involved drivers traveling on curving two-lane roadways in wet conditions. The two vehicles lost control due to traveling too fast, resulting in each crossing the road’s center line and entering oncoming traffic. The incidents occurred within a week of one another.
WSP encourages drivers to slow down, increase following distance, merge mindfully and be patient.
• Slow down: when driving, adjust the vehicle’s speed to roadway conditions, as speed limits are designed for traveling on dry roadways in the best weather conditions.
• Increase following distance: when driving, ensure there is enough room between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you, as wet roadways call for more stopping distance between vehicles.
• Merge mindfully: in addition to increasing following distance, while merging on multi-lane roads, ensure there is enough space between your vehicle and others.
• Pack patience: plan for longer commutes and allow yourself to have more time to reach your destination in bad weather.
State law states drivers shouldn’t drive vehicles at a speed “greater than is reasonable and prudent” based on the “actual and potential hazards” on the roadway in order to avoid collisions.
“It is important for motorists to change their driving behavior in response to adverse driving conditions,” said Chris Old, WSP District 8 captain. “Our goal is to ensure everyone makes it to their destinations safely.”