The city of Edmonds has earned a distinction it may not want - the highest rate of distracted driving crashes in Washington state, says a new study released Monday.
The study, by insurance comparison website QuoteWizard and based on figures from the state Department of Transportation, found that drivers in Edmonds are in a class by themselves when it comes to driving while distracted by their phone, food, music or some other factor that takes their attention away from the road.
"The frequency of distracted driving accidents (in Edmonds) is nearly double that of SeaTac, the next city on the list, and almost triple that of neighboring Lynnwood," says the report.
Altogether, there were 276 distracted driving crashes in Edmonds in 2017, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, among a population of 42,000 people - or one distracted driving crash for every 152 residents. Luckily, none of those crashes were fatal.
Statewide, there were 11,504 distracted driving crashes in that one year alone. Of those, 87 were fatal.
Other cities that ranked high for distracted driving accidents:
No. 2 - SeaTac, with a population of about 29,000, had 115 distracted driving incidents, resulting in one fatality.
No. 3 - Tacoma, with a population of 200,000-plus residents, experienced 661 distracted driving crashes, resulting in two deaths.
No. 4 - Lakewood had 181 distracted driving accidents out of a population of 60,000. Two of those resulted in fatalities.
No. 5 - Everett, which has the highest congestion rate of any city in the state, had 249 distracted driving crashes among a population of more than 110,000. The report noted that Everett's gridlock and slow traffic "brings a false sense of safety that makes drivers feel comfortable enough to send a text or fix their hair." None of Everett's incidents were fatal.
No. 6 - Lynnwood had 82 distracted driving incidents in a population of 38,273, prompting the city to launch a month-long enforcement campaign in December 2017.
No. 7 - Mountlake Terrace, with just over 21,000 residents, experienced 42 distracted driving incidents.
No. 8 - Bellevue had 277 distracted driving crashes among a population of 144,000-plus residents.
No. 9 - Bothell, with just over 45,500 residents, had 85 distracted driving incidents.
No. 10 - Seattle had 1,347 distracted driving accidents in a population of more than 720,000.