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Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling and convenient mode of transportation. With beautiful parks and open roads, it makes sense that Washington state has its own share of motorcycle riders. But despite motorcyclists’ best efforts to stay safe, accidents often happen.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, motorcycles are the most dangerous type of motor vehicle. A sobering stat? Motorcycles are involved in fatal crashes at a rate of 35 per 100 million VMT, compared to a rate of two per 100 million VMT for passenger vehicles.

Why are motorcycle accidents more likely to be fatal?

While any kind of vehicle can be involved in an accident, accidents involving motorcycles have a higher chance of being fatal, particularly for the rider of the motorcycle. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Motorcycle riders have less protection. While passenger vehicles have seatbelts and the protection of the physical cage of the car, motorcyclists are left more exposed. Even with safety equipment, like helmets, there is a much higher chance that a rider will suffer injury or death compared to someone riding a passenger vehicle.
  • It is harder to control a motorcycle. The two-wheel design of a motorcycle makes it harder to control and less stable than 4-wheel vehicles. This makes motorcyclists more susceptible to falling or crashing because of external disturbances.
  • Motorcycles have different brake systems. Brakes applied to cars or other automobiles are stronger and can stop the vehicle safer than the brake system in motorcycles. Recklessly applying brakes on a motorcycle has a higher chance of the bike spinning or losing control.

Top 4 causes of fatal motorcycle accidents in Seattle, WA

According to research by the Washington State Department of Health, there were four main causes of fatal motorcycle accidents between 2009-2011.

  • Rider impairment was a cause of 60% of single-vehicle crashes and 37% of multi-vehicle crashes.
  • A speeding rider was a cause of 47% of multi-vehicle crashes
  • Distracted driving on part of the rider was a cause of 18% of single-vehicle crashes and 12% of multi-vehicle crashes.
  • Other vehicles violating right-of-way laws were a cause in 25% of multi-vehicle crashes.

With the knowledge of the common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents, both riders and other motorists should drive with these issues in mind in order to avoid accidents. However, if you or a loved one have suffered injury or death in a motorcycle accident due to the negligent actions of another party, you deserve to be compensated.

Gosanko & OHalloran, PLLC has a team of experienced attorneys ready to provide guidance and representation regarding your motorcycle accident case. Contact us at 206-275-0700 for a consultation today.