Map: Which Washington County Has The Most Dangerous Teen Drivers?

This interactive map shows the percentage of fatal/serious injury crashes between 2013 and 2017 that involved a teen driver. Click on a county to see the underlying numbers. Darker colors = higher rate of teen crashes. You can drag the map if needed.

Which county in our state has the most dangerous teen drivers? 

We wanted the answer to that question, and on the brink of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, we sifted through five years of records to find all serious teen driver accidents as defined by the Washington State Department of Transportation. 

We then compared that data to the total number of serious accidents involving all drivers. What we got was the percentage of Washington crashes involving a teen driver. We then created the map above to illustrate.

teen drivers wa

The most dangerous teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) in Washington are in Asotin County, which had five serious teen crashes (19.2%) in the time frame studied. While it may sound like a small number, consider that Asotin County is just 636 square miles and has a population of 21,623 — and had just 26 total serious crashes from 2013 to 2017.

Several factors make Asotin and other rural counties such a dangerous place for young drivers. Rural crashes tend to be more fatal, and a relatively low percentage of the population regularly wears seat belts.

The second most dangerous county is Clark, the fifth-most populous county in Washington. With the city of Vancouver and Interstate 5 within its boundaries, 17.1% of serious crashes in Clark County involved a teen driver.   

Least dangerous? That distinction goes to sparsely populated Wahkiakum, Garfield and Ferry counties, which all did not have a serious teen-involved crash from 2013-17.

Here are some other highlights from the data:

  • Between 2013 and 2017, Washington had 11,275 serious vehicle accidents; 1,188 — or 10.5% — involved a teen driver. Teenage drivers make up approximately 6.4% (13.2 million) of the driving population in the United States.
  • King and Pierce counties, the two largest by population in the state, ranked No. 22 and No. 11, respectively. Of King County's 2,962 serious crashes, 9% involved a teen driver. In Pierce County, 11% of all serious crashes involved a teen driver.
  • Across the state, 16 counties could attribute at least 10% of their serious accidents to teen drivers. Only five came in at less than 5%.
  • 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, 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.

FREE BOOKLET: Teen Drivers & The Law: Parental Legal & Financial Liability

The importance of parents talking to their children about the privilege of driving on Washington state roads, and the seriousness of safe driving, cannot be understated. That's just one of the reasons attorney Chris Davis wrote this free booklet, a resource that parents and teenage drivers can use to understand many of the traffic laws and insurance questions that apply to young drivers.

Ranking Counties By Serious Teen Crashes

A serious crash is defined as one that resulted in a fatality or incapacitating injury. (WSDOT data) The following is a ranking from least to most dangerous counties in terms of teen crashes.

*Click here to view the complete data set*

T-37. Wahkiakum County

Between 2013 and 2017, 0.0% of Wahkiakum County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 12 total accidents, zero involving teen drivers.

T-37. Garfield County

Between 2013 and 2017, 0.0% of Garfield County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 12 total accidents, zero involving teen drivers.

T-37. Ferry County

Between 2013 and 2017, 0.0% of Ferry County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 33 total accidents, zero involving teen drivers.

36. Lincoln County

Between 2013 and 2017, 2.6% of Lincoln County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 38 total accidents, and just one involving teen drivers.

35. Stevens County

Between 2013 and 2017, 4.3% of Stevens County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 94 total accidents, four involving teen drivers.

34. Jefferson County

Between 2013 and 2017, 5.2% of Jefferson County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 116 total accidents, six involving teen drivers.

T-32. Columbia County

Between 2013 and 2017, 5.9% of Columbia County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 17 total accidents, just one involving teen drivers.

T-32. Benton County

Between 2013 and 2017, 5.9% of Benton County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 220 total accidents, 13 involving teen drivers.

31. Island County

Between 2013 and 2017, 6.2% of Island County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 97 total accidents, six involving teen drivers.

T-29. Pacific County

Between 2013 and 2017, 6.7% of Pacific County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 45 total accidents, three involving teen drivers.

T-29. Clallam County

Between 2013 and 2017, 6.7% of Clallam County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 119 total accidents, eight involving teen drivers.

28. Lewis County

Between 2013 and 2017, 7.5% of Lewis County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 214 total accidents, 16 involving teen drivers.

27. Walla Walla County

Between 2013 and 2017, 7.8% of Walla Walla County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 90 total accidents, seven involving teen drivers.

26. Kittitas County

Between 2013 and 2017, 8.4% of Kittitas County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 154 total accidents, 13 involving teen drivers.

T-24. San Juan County

Between 2013 and 2017, 8.7% of San Juan County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 23 total accidents, two involving teen drivers.

T-24. Klickitat County

Between 2013 and 2017, 8.7% of Klickitat County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 69 total accidents, six involving teen drivers.

23. Mason County

Between 2013 and 2017, 8.9% of Mason County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 169 total accidents, 15 involving teen drivers.

22. King County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.0% of King County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 2,962 total accidents, 267 involving teen drivers.

T-20. Whitman County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.1% of Whitman County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 88 total accidents, eight involving teen drivers.

T-20. Thurston County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.1% of Thurston County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 385 total accidents, 35 involving teen drivers.

19. Okanogan County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.3% of Okanogan County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 107 total accidents, 10 involving teen drivers.

18. Skamania County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.6% of Skamania County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 52 total accidents, five involving teen drivers.

17. Pend Oreille County

Between 2013 and 2017, 9.8% of Pend Oreille County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 51 total accidents, five involving teen drivers.

16. Whatcom County

Between 2013 and 2017, 10.0% of Whatcom County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 271 total accidents, 27 involving teen drivers.

15. Douglas County

Between 2013 and 2017, 10.3% of Douglas County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 68 total accidents, seven involving teen drivers.

14. Kitsap County

Between 2013 and 2017, 10.5% of Kitsap County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 363 total accidents, 38 involving teen drivers.

T-12. Grays Harbor

Between 2013 and 2017, 10.8% of Grays Harbor County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 158 total accidents, 17 involving teen drivers.

T-12. Cowlitz County

Between 2013 and 2017, 10.8% of Cowlitz County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 194 total accidents, 21 involving teen drivers.

11. Pierce County

Between 2013 and 2017, 11.0% of Pierce County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 1,346 total accidents, 148 involving teen drivers.

10. Skagit County

Between 2013 and 2017, 11.9% of Skagit County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 261 total accidents, 31 involving teen drivers.

T-8. Spokane County

Between 2013 and 2017, 12.0% of Spokane County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 727 total accidents, 87 involving teen drivers.

T-8. Chelan County

Between 2013 and 2017, 12.0% of Chelan County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 125 total accidents, 15 involving teen drivers.

7. Adams County

Between 2013 and 2017, 12.3% of Adams County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 81 total accidents, 10 involving teen drivers.

6. Grant County

Between 2013 and 2017, 12.5% of Grant County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 208 total accidents, 26 involving teen drivers.

5. Snohomish County

Between 2013 and 2017, 12.6% of Snohomish County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 1,041 total accidents, 131 involving teen drivers.

4. Franklin County

Between 2013 and 2017, 13.6% of Franklin County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 132 total accidents, 18 involving teen drivers.

3. Yakima County

Between 2013 and 2017, 14.2% of Yakima County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 473 total accidents, 67 involving teen drivers.

2. Clark County

Between 2013 and 2017, 17.1% of Clark County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 634 total accidents, 109 involving teen drivers.

1. Asotin County

Between 2013 and 2017, 19.2% of Asotin County accidents that caused a fatality or incapacitating injury involved a teen driver. There were 26 total accidents, five involving teen drivers.

Note: Our figures were pulled from raw Washington State Department of Transportation data. Accident data is recorded and entered by humans.

1 Comments
This is a terrific visual aid and a real eye opener. Thank you for sharing with us. Teri Gaul
by Skeet & Teri Gaul June 6, 2018 at 12:36 PM
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