Snoqualmie Pass is the primary mountain pass that carries Interstate 90 through the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State. On average, more than 20,000 vehicles cross over Snoqualmie Pass each day. During weekends, that number can surge up to 50,000.
The traffic volume has increased 23 percent over the last five years and is predicted to continue to increase by 2.1 percent every year moving forward. A section of highway in this area has been called the I-90 Danger Zone due to the extreamly high number of motor vehicle collisions.
Experienced Snoqualmie Pass Lawyer
Award-winning attorney Chris Davis of Davis Law Group, P.S., has been helping victims of Snoqualmie Pass accidents recover large injury and wrongful death settlements and verdicts for more than 20 years.
You may have seen Mr. Davis on local or national news programs discussing the firm's high-profile cases or offering commentary on other legal issues.
Davis Law Group has been named Best Injury Law Firm in Washington State in AI Global Media's Dispute Resolution Awards and 'Best Traffic Accident Firm' in Washington State by Legal Elite for commitment and excellence in serious motor accident claims.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a an accident on or near Snoqualmie Pass contact attorney Chris Davis and the team at Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 to schedule your free legal consultation.
Snoqualmie Pass Is I-90’s Accident ‘Danger Zone’
There is a 32-mile stretch of I-90 between the summit of Snoqualmie Pass and the Indian John Hill rest area east of Cle Elum that is known as the I-90 Danger Zone due to the number of motor vehicle collisions and fatalities. The section stretches from I-90 milepost 47, just west of the Kittitas County line, to milepost 110, where Interstate 82 splits off.
In 2014 there were 105 crashes in the I-90 Danger Zone; that number increased 190 percent to 199 accidents in 2015. And in 2016 the number of collisions increased 231 percent to 459. And during the first six months of 2017 there were already 212 motor vehicle collisions in the Danger Zone.
Accident Data For Snoqualmie Pass
Davis Law Group conducted a detailed analysis of I-90 Danger Zone accident data from 2014, 2015, 2016 and the first half of 2017. We found that, on average, the highest number of collisions happened along the 2-mile stretch near milepost 53 and 54.
- I-90 Mileposts 53 & 54. During the period examined there were fifty accidents near milepost 54 and forty-five collisions near milepost 53 making this area the most treacherous portion of the I-90 Danger Zone. In 2014 there were twenty-six accidents near milepost 54 and twenty-four near milepost 53. In 2015 and 2016 the number of accidents in each of these areas was extremely low. However, during the first half of 2017 there has been a huge spike in crashes, probably due to road construction projects, and the numbers are on track to more than double the old record by the end of the year.
- I-90 Milepost 73. This section of road also saw a high number of collisions, seventeen, in 2014 and a reduction in accidents for the next two years. However, there have already been nine crashes in this area during the first half of 2017 which indicates that there could be more serious accidents before the end of the year.
Dangerous Snoqualmie Pass Travel & Weather Conditions
The dangerous stretch of road near Snoqualmie Pass is accident prone for a number of reasons including:
Semi Truck Accidents On Snoqualmie Pass
Each year, 10 million freight trucks carrying $500 billion worth of interstate, import, and export goods move through Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, according to WSDOT.
Speeding On Snoqualmie Pass
Snoqualmie Pass has a variable speed limit which changes due to weather conditions, construction projects, and other factors. Washington State Patrol data shows that during one two month period (June and July of 2016) troopers stopped 914 people for speeding in the I-90 danger zone. Speeding vehicles can easily lose control in this section of road that has steep inclines and multiple twists and turns.
Snoqualmie Area Construction Projects
WSDOT has multiple construction projects extending from the North Bend Vicinity (mile posts 34-52) thru Snoqualmie Pass (mileposts 57-98) on to the Cle Elum Vicinity (milepost 87-97) and beyond to Ellensburg (milepost 134). These projects are designed to meet both the current and future needs of this transportation corridor. However, road construction which narrows lanes; moves lane makers; and adds obstacles which are proven to increase accidents.
Dangerous Weather Conditions On Snoqualmie Pass
Rapidly changing mountain weather conditions during the winter. Freeway driving on Snoqualmie Pass in the winter is different from any other area of I-90. People who are not accustomed to driving in the snow can have problems during poor snowstorm visibility or deep icy inclines or curves. Depending on road conditions, the WSDOT may call for traction tires or tire chains to be use.
Heavy traffic over the pass in a snowstorm poses an increased risk multi-vehicle accidents, with a greater potential for serious injury. Large traffic volumes on the pass speeds up the compacting of snow on the roadway. Compacted snow turns to ice and increases the risk of spinouts. When vehicles are traveling closely together while climbing Snoqualmie Summit in bad weather a single spinout or truck jackknife cause a major, multi-vehicle accident.
Avalanches & Rock Slides On Snoqualmie Pass
Avalanches, rockslides and wildlife activity can have a major impact on traffic flow across Snoqualmie Pass.
WSDOT’s Snoqualmie Traffic Flow Management Project
Traffic Flow Management is a new tactic WSDOT is developing to keep the Snoqualmie Pass safe for travelers and open as much as possible. It is designed to regulate the number of vehicles per hour attempting to cross the pass. Traffic Flow Management will be implemented when snowfall and traffic volume combine to result in dangerous conditions at the summit of the Snoqualmie Pass.