Good news: traffic deaths in Seattle were down significantly in 2018,
according to SDOT according to the latest available data from SDOT. But we’re still far from Vision Zero.
Update: Please note that collision data for 2018 is incomplete, as reporting is still in progress.
We’ll continue to track the story, and post complete data when it becomes available.
In future data stories, we’ll make important metadata like this much more prominent.
The data in this story was released on December 19, 2018 and downloaded on December 25, 2018. The City’s internal data collection is ongoing.
We’ll follow up with the definitive statistics when they become available.
Ten people were killed in collisions
this last year, down from 19 the previous year, the 2010s annual average of 19, and a decade-high 27 in 2016.
In 2018, more people were killed traveling by car than any other mode. That’s the norm in Seattle. In the 2010s, nearly 60% of people who died in traffic in Seattle were killed while driving or riding in a car.
Over the course of the 2010s, the average day saw 38 collisions across town. So it’s no surprise that collisions happen everywhere in Seattle.
However, some intersections and blocks are more dangerous than others. Highway 99 and Rainier Avenue South are particular standouts. Downtown, as a whole, is by far the most dangerous place to get around.
Downtown, where people in Seattle walk the most, has seen the most collisions by cars and cycles with pedestrians. Rainier, Aurora, 45th Avenue North, Lake City Way Northeast, California Avenue Southwest, and Delridge Way Southwest are also notably dangerous places to walk.
Rainier is dangerous for its entire length. Highway 99 is especially bad on the Aurora Bridge and the Viaduct. Fortunately, the Viaduct is coming down, and rechannellization plans are in the works for Rainier.
However, the Aurora Bridge is just as dangerous as it was in 2015, when the horrific Ride the Ducks collision killed five people and injured 78 others.
The high-volume highway has no median, and the city and the state were fighting over who should pay for installing one. As of June, no plan to fix the bridge was even in development.
Of course, the Viaduct was identified as a similar threat to life and limb about 20 years ago, and it’s only now being demolished. So expect an improved bridge in 2040 or so.
Notes on the data
Each location is aggregated for the entire time period of the data set: if separate collisions happened in the same place in 2010 and 2014, they have been combined into the same point. Each location is geolocated using coordinates supplied by SDOT. The dataset was last updated on December 19, 2018.