Washington bucks national trend: gun deaths here outnumber traffic fatalities

Awhile back, Bloomberg published a startling story that revealed the likelihood deaths by firearms in America would soon outnumber traffic fatalities

After doing some digging today, I figured out that Washington state has already turned that corner. In fact, it did so in 2008 (see below). Traffic fatalities numbered 454 in the state in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Deaths caused by firearms were higher, at 619 — 492 of which were suicides — according to the state’s Department of Health.

I would credit this trend in part to the state’s nation-leading seat belt use (98 percent). The average for the country is just 84 percent. As for gun deaths, I’ll leave that discussion for now but feel free to make your voice heard below.

Here are the rest of the stats for Washington:

Gun deaths                   Traffic fatalities

2006                619                                  633

2007                544                                  571

2008                583                                  521

2009                618                                   492

2010                 607                                  460

2011                 619                                  454


4 thoughts on “Washington bucks national trend: gun deaths here outnumber traffic fatalities

  1. You have 619 deaths in 2011 as the total for those caused by firearms, but that appears to be the total for all causes, including “Other and unspecified.”

    The state Dep’t of Health table shows 264 deaths caused by handguns and 99 caused by rifles or shotguns. There were another 256 caused by “other & unspecified” for a total of 619.

    Are the “other & unspecified” cases supposed to be some other kind of firearms? Or are they other kinds of weapon, like a club or other blunt force trauma? I don’t see an explanation.

  2. Suicide by firearm only legitimate when compared to other forms of suicide, or death by car=, death by suicide =, otherwise you are picking data only to support your intent. Otherwise you would have identified Accidental death by car vs Accidental death by firearm.
    To compare an accident rate to a deliberate action rate is pure nonsense

  3. This study is fine for auto on auto or single auto collisions but does NOT account for auto bicycle or auto pedestrian accidents, which is really too bad. In my eyes,the vehicle is far more dangerous and plentiful than the gun.

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