Fatal car crashes down statewide

Fatal car crashes down statewide
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR learned the number of crashes that leave people dead are down.

Michele Lomeli is one of many drivers who feel safe on our state highways.

"Road safety here in the Tri-Cities, I think is excellent. I think people will pull over to help their fellow citizen," she says.

Michelle has been in a car accident before. Luckily, no one died.

It's part of a trend where the number of deadly accidents has fallen steadily on state roads for four years.

"People are being more cautious and thinking about their fellow citizens and thinking about their own families safety while they're driving," Michele added.

Back in 2010, there were 460 fatalities on Washington highways.
They dropped by more than twenty the following two years and so far this year -- the number is down to 375.

State Troopers say it's all thanks to their Target Zero campaign.

"We have six troopers and one sergeant that go out there and specifically target DUI drivers," says WSP Sgt. Oscar Garcia.

DUI's account for more than half of all fatal accidents state-wide. And you don't have to be drunk to be a risk.

"People don't really realize when they're out there texting or talking on the phone, and they're weaving all over their lane, crossing their lanes and everything else -- that for us is suspicious, we stop them to make sure they haven't been drinking," Sgt. Garcia continued.

This year alone, our area has already seen four fatal crashes that involved alcohol.

WSP gets extra vigilant during the holiday season when more people might be on the roads taking chances.

Michele is just happy she can feel safer on the road.

"The fact that they're down is just kudos to everybody out there that they're being proactive and thinking about everyone's safety overall," she says.

WSP's Target Zero Campaign aims to reduce the number of fatal accidents by four percent each year.

It was started back in 2011 and aims to have zero fatalities on the road by 2030.