2021 Was the Deadliest on Washington Roads in 15 Years

Posted by Craig F. Schauermann | Mar 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

Sadly, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission has reported the very disheartening news that 2021 was the deadliest in this state since 2006. There were 540 fatal crashes—which killed 600 people and an additional 2,411 “serious crashes” this past year. These serious crashes (a “serious crash” is a crash that likely results in serious injuries) were also the most since 2006.  

It is unclear why this has happened. In a period of time when there is less traffic on our roadways, due to the pandemic and people working at home, and better and safer vehicles on  our roadways—why are more dying and are we having more serious crashes? 

Washington is not alone. This appears to be a nationwide problem. Alcohol and drug-influenced serious and fatal crashes remained high in 2021. Speed, too, is a factor—but these represent only small “upticks” in the causes of these deaths and serious injuries, according to Staci Hoff, the research director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Interestingly, Mark Hallenbeck, Director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington, believes that the cause is a bit more difficult to analyze—he believes that we have angry and frustrated drivers taking out their frustrations “both with their accelerator and brake”.

This should not be something regarding which we just shrug our shoulders and do nothing. The people that were killed or were seriously injured have families that cared about them—they were also injured by these losses. We hope that all of us will consider how dangerous an automobile is if we drive impaired, or distracted by our cell phones, by speed, or if we just get behind the wheel angry.

Let's all try to make 2022 a better and safer year on our highways by not doing any of those things—and by encouraging those around us to likewise not do the same.

About the Author

Craig F. Schauermann

Member.  Effective July 1, 2015, Craig Schauermann has transitioned from managing partner of the firm to an “Of Counsel” role with the firm. As a founding partner, along with William “Bill” Thayer, Craig's name will remain with the firm. Craig will continue his long history of mentorship to the firm's attorneys and contribute to the firm's active cases. You may contact him via this page, but he is not taking on new cases directly in his new role with the firm. Location: Vancouver, Washington Phone: 360-558-3766 Fax:               360-696-0583 Contact Craig Schuermann Emphasis: Before going of counsel July 1, 2015, Craig advised and advocated for his clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases for nearly 40 years. He continues to work part time with the attorneys in our office on matters relating to serious personal injuries and wrongful death. Professional Qualifications & Education: Bachelor of Arts, 1973 Washington State University; Juris Doctor degree, 1976 University of Puget Sound; Licensed to practice before all courts in the State of Washington, the Western and Eastern District Federal Courts of the State of Washington, and the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Professional Experience: Craig started work in Seattle as an associate with a small personal injury firm and moved to Clark County in January of 1979. He practiced exclusively after that in the State of Washington, primarily in Clark County. He was instrumental in obtaining for his clients a number of large verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements. Professional Affiliation: Member of the Board of Governors for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association from 1996-2001. Political Action Committee for WSAJ from 2004-2015.  Past WSTLA Eagle member for over 25 years. Past President of the Clark County Bar Association. Former Chairman of the Washington State Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education Committee. Craig has been a speaker at numerous legal education seminars. Personal: Craig and his wife are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren. He enjoys golf, playing bridge, and traveling with his family. Areas of Practice Personal Injuries Wrongful Death Litigation Percentage 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation Bar Admissions Washington, 1977 U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, 1993 U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1977 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1994 U.S. Supreme Court, 1994 Education University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, WashingtonJ.D. – 1976Washington State UniversityB.A. – 1973 Professional Associations and Memberships Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1996 – 2001 Washington Trial Attorneys Public Forum Clark County Bar Association, Past President Washington State Bar Association, Former Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Committee


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