Drivers Urged to Slow Down & Plan for Wet Roads

Washington State Patrol District 8 troopers have responded to 341 collisions through September this year involving speed too fast for roadway conditions, with more wet weather on the way.

Speed too fast for conditions references Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.400, which states drivers will not drive a vehicle at a speed “greater than is reasonable and prudent” based on the “actual and potential hazards” on the roadway necessary to avoid a collision.

Two fatality collisions this month occurred during wet roadway conditions involving speed too fast as a contributing factor. The collisions occurred in Jefferson County within one week of each other. Both involved drivers traveling in a curve on undivided, two lane roadways in wet or rainy conditions. The vehicles were traveling too fast and lost control, crossed the centerline and became broadside into oncoming traffic.

“It is important for motorists to change their driving behavior in response to adverse driving conditions,” said WSP District 8 Captain Chris Old. “Our goal is to ensure everyone makes it to their destinations safely.”

When the roadways are wet, WSP asks for drivers to:

Slow down: adjust your speed to the roadway conditions. Speed limits are meant for travel on bare, dry roadways in the best weather conditions.

Increase following distance: Wet roadways means drivers need more stopping distance. Make sure to leave enough room between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.

Merge mindfully: When merging on a multi-lane highway, ensure you are not creating a dangerous situation by not leaving enough space between yourself and the vehicles already on the road.

Pack patience: Plan ahead and provide more time to reach your destination in adverse weather.

Collisions Involving Speed Too Fast for Conditions in District 8

County 2016 2017 2018 (thru Sept.)
Clallam 47 74 45
Grays Harbor 70 71 40
Jefferson 96 107 54
Kitsap 178 191 108
Mason 44 24 34
Pacific 20 12 58
Wahkiakum 6 7 2
Total 461 486 341