Of the state’s 39 counties, Grays Harbor County is tied for 12th place when it comes to the percentage of serious automobile accidents involving teen drivers, according to a report released by the Davis Law Group based in Seattle.
According to the study, which used data from 2013-17, there were 158 serious or deadly crashes in the county during that time frame. Of those, 17 involved teen drivers, accounting for 10.8 percent of the total. That ties the county with Cowlitz County for the 12th most dangerous county for teenage drivers in the state, and is slightly above the state average of 10.5 percent.
Pacific County fared better, with 6.7 percent of accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involving a teen driver. Of the 45 such accidents from 2013-17, only three involved teen drivers, according to the report. This ties Pacific County with Clallam County as the 29th most dangerous county for teen drivers.
The most dangerous teen drivers in Washington are in Asotin County, according to the report. Second is Clark County.
Least dangerous? That distinction goes to sparsely populated Wahkiakum, Garfield and Ferry counties, none of which had a serious teen-involved crash from 2013-17.
Nationally, rural states are much more likely to have a rate of serious teen crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranked the deadliest states for teen drivers: 1. Wyoming, 2. Montana, 3. Mississippi, T4. Alabama, T4. Arkansas, T4. West Virginia, 7. Oklahoma, 8. South Dakota, 9. Kentucky, and 10. North Dakota.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashes are the leading cause of death and account for almost one third of all deaths among people age 16-19.
The report was released prior to the onset of the 100 most dangerous days for teen drivers. The report indicates a large percentage of serious accidents involving teen drivers take place between Memorial Day Weekend and and Labor Day, with more teens traveling during summer vacation and graduation season than any other.