Motorcyclists look forward to riding in summer weather all year long – especially in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is so cold and wet several months of the year. While it is certainly fun, it’s important to know that riding a motorcycle comes with its share of risks not shared by other drivers on the road and that summer riding can be especially hazardous. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, a motorcycle driver is 27 times more likely to die in a crash than a car driver and 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death compared to 20 percent of all passenger car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are consistently overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2020 alone, 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents. Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, it’s easy for other drivers to miss them in a blind spot or mirror. Adding to the problem, drivers often don’t understand that motorcycles maneuver differently than larger vehicles.Read More
As reported by KGMI, a couple from Granite Falls has died after crashing their motorcycle into another vehicle on Chuckanut Drive on Saturday, July 25. The couple was riding their Harley Davidson south at Soundview Road north of Larrabee State Park when they crossed the centerline on a curve. After crossing, they crashed into a pick-up truck driven by a Bellingham man. The couple was taken to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center where they later died; the driver of the pick-up wasn’t hurt.Read More
Motorcycle riders are overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes with a higher fatality rate than drivers. The numbers are stark, with approximately 25 fatalities per 100 million miles of travel on a motorcycle compared to 0.80 fatalities per 100 million miles of passenger car travel.
Motorcycle accident statistics
- Motorcycles represent only three percent of registered vehicles but they account for 14 percent of traffic-related fatalities.
- A motorcycle driver is 27 times more likely to die in a crash than a car driver and 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death compared to 20 percent of all passenger car accidents.
- In 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes.
- Motorcyclists are also at an increased risk for single-vehicle accidents; 34 percent of motorcycle accidents do not involve any other vehicle compared to only 14 percent of car crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed in collisions in 2018. While this was a five percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities, motorcyclists still made up a disproportionately large portion of traffic fatalities; 14 percent of all traffic-accident fatalities, while representing only three percent of all registered motor vehicles. Motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than passenger car occupants. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May, the NHTSA reminds motorcyclists and drivers to help keep everyone safe by sharing the road. They also advise motorcyclists to remain alert at all times, to make themselves as visible as possible, to use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to never drink and ride.
The Importance of Motorcycle Safety Awareness MonthRead More
Motorcycle laws are in place to keep both riders and drivers safe on the roads. Washington State has eight important motorcycle laws that every rider must follow and it’s in their interest to do so. If a rider is involved in a motorcycle accident, he or she will have a harder time collecting a settlement for their injuries if they were breaking a law at the time of the crash.Read More
Motorcycle riders are sometimes tempted to move through heavy traffic more quickly by lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a bicycle or motorcycle rider rides their bike in the same direction as the flow of traffic but between lanes or rows when traffic is moving slowly or stopped. Other names for lane splitting are white-lining, lane sharing, filtering or stripe-riding.Read More
Summer is prime motorcycle season in the Pacific Northwest and that means more motorcycles interacting with trucks and cars on the roads. When motorcycle accidents happen between a car or truck and a motorcycle, motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable to injury and death because they don’t have the same type of protection. Blind spots are especially dangerous for motorcyclists because motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than passenger cars. When a passenger car or truck driver cannot see a motorcycle in their blind spot they may move into the space and cause a serious crash.Read More
Now that spring is here along with warmer temperatures, more people are bringing their motorcycles out of the garage. Many love the feel of riding a motorcycle but it’s clear that in a motor vehicle crash, motorcyclists are a lot more vulnerable to injury than a driver protected by a car. For those considering getting a motorcycle, safety considerations should be made.
Are motorcycles safe?
Motorcycles are much less safe than motor vehicles for the following reasons:Read More
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents today!
Contrary to popular belief, motorcycle accidents do not occur more frequently than car accidents, but they are 35 times more likely to result in serious injury or death of the motorcyclist. Identifying the most common causes of motorcycle accidents then is important in their prevention.
50% of Accidents Caused by Drugs, Alcohol or Reckless Driving
Approximately 50% of motorcycle accidents not involving another vehicle occur due to drug or alcohol impairment, sleep deprivation or reckless driving, such as excessive speeding. Although there are common causes of other types of motor vehicles accidents as well, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death.
Cars Making Left Hand Turns
Cars making left hand turns account for 42% of all motorcycle accidents involving a car. Cars are most likely to hit a motorcycle when the motorcycle is driving straight through the intersection or when the motorcyclist is passing or trying to overtake the car. Although this type of accident is common between two cars, the motorcyclist is more physically vulnerable to injury. When a motorcyclist passes a vehicle in the same lane, they are making themselves even more vulnerable and could possibly be found at fault for the accident.
78% of Crashes are Head-on Collisions
78% of crashes between motorcycles and cars are head-on collisions (only 5% are rear-end collisions) and they account for 56% of motorcyclist deaths.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Motorcycle lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slowing traffic, typically to advance their position in a traffic jam. This can cause an accident for several reasons, but the most common are the driver not expecting another moving vehicle or motorcycle to pass them in their lane, the close proximity of the motorcycle to the vehicle and thereby the small space for maneuvering of both the motorcycle and the car. If an accident occurs, fault may be found with either the motorcyclist or car driver depending on whether lane splitting is legal in that state and the subsequent judgments of the police officer and/or judge in the case. Prior driving behavior or driver impairment will also play a role in determining liability.
Road Hazards Particular to Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to accidents from road hazards than other drivers due to the smaller size, openness and less stable nature of motorcycles compared to cars and trucks. The most common road hazards include pot holes, dead animals or other road debris, slick driving conditions, uneven heights between lanes and very bumpy or grooved pavement.
“Hitting the Wall”
25% of motorcycle accident deaths are caused by collisions with fixed objects compared to 18% of car accident deaths. Motorcyclists are more likely to be flung off of a motorcycle than drivers are to be flung through their windshield.
Super Racer 2x as Likely to Die
Sport and supersport motorcycle accidents account for a large percentage of overall motorcycle accidents despite being a small percentage of motorcycles on the road. Supersport motorcycles are built for racing then modified for highway use. They are ultra-light with powerful engines that can drive up to 160mph. In addition, most supersport riders are under 30; a group less likely to be cautious on the road. The accident death rate for supersport motorcyclists is four times that of other types of motorcyclists. Sport motorcycles are similar to supersport motorcycles but have a smaller power to weight ratio making their top speed a little lower. Most sport motorcycle owners are under the age of 34. The accident death rate for sport motorcyclists is twice that of other types of motorcyclists.
Because motorcyclists are more vulnerable to death and injury in the case of an accident, it is helpful to understand common causes of accidents in order to try and avoid an accident. If you have been in a motorcycle accident please contact an attorney at Tario & Associates, at (360) 671-8500 for assistance today.
Approximately 50% of motorcycle accidents not involving another vehicle occur due to drug or alcohol impairment, sleep deprivation or reckless driving such as excessive speeding. Although these are common causes of other types of motor vehicles accidents as well, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death.Read More