- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The purpose of the Washington Division Office safety function is to improve highway safety; the promotion, coordination and transfer of safety technology; and good practices along with oversight of the various safety programs. This function is directly aligned to support the agency’s strategic goal on safety.
WSDOT's highway safety program is driven by their Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Target Zero. The goal of Target Zero is to reduce zero fatal and serious injury collisions to zero by 2030. Historically, Washington ranks well in terms of overall roadway safety compared to the rest of the nation. Our fatality rate for 2016, or number of roadway fatalities per 100 Million vehicle-miles-traveled, is below the national average at 0.88 (the national average is 1.18). The number of roadway fatalities in 2016 was 537 or about 2.5% less than the previous 5-year rolling average. Seatbelt use in the State remains among the highest in the nation at 94.1% (2016). The state is proactive when it comes to addressing safety issues on the roadway. Installation of high friction surface treatment, roadway and curve sign enhancements, rumble strips, shoulder and centerline, median cable guard rail, and roundabouts are examples counter measures. While improvements are being made, WSDOT continues its to implement proven safety countermeasures that reduce fatal and serious injury collisions.
Based on crash statistics, the FHWA initiated a focused approach based upon identified key vital areas. Initially Washington State was identified as a "Focus State" for Roadway Departure crashes; however, since WSDOT's implementation of roadway departure countermeasures they are no longer a Focus State. The key vital areas include improving strategic safety management, and reducing the number of roadway departure, intersection, and pedestrian/bicycle fatalities and crashes. Links to these vital areas are provided below:
These consist of head-on, side-swipe, and run-off-road crashes: Suggested sites for countermeasures that may affect these crash types include:
The FHWA Headquarters Office of Highway Safety provides program and policy leadership for the agency.