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