Motorcycles only comprise 3% of the road users in Washington State, but accounted for 15% of all fatalities and 19% of serious injuries in collisions between 2013 and 2017. About 1 in 5 motorcycle collisions result in serious injury or death and on average 75 riders die every year in collisions on Washington roads. These statistics have remained relatively constant for more than a decade.
Motorcycle riding is a risky form of transportation, especially when combined with factors such as lack of helmet use, speeding, impairment, and lack of endorsement. Motorcycles, unlike passenger vehicles, offer no protection to the rider in the event of a collision and riders are more susceptible to serious injuries in collisions.
|Year||Total Traffic Fatalities||Motorcycle Fatalities||Percentage of Total|
It’s A Fine Line
Motorcycle riders are over-represented in traffic fatalities. It’s A Fine Line is Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s motorcycle safety education campaign with the purpose of reducing motorcycle crashes resulting in serious injuries or deaths. It’s a fine line between the best ride ever and the last ride ever.
Department of Licensing
Department of Licensing provides information on endorsements, knowledge and riding skills tests, beginner and advanced rider training, and the state Motorcycle Safety Education Advisory Board.
A license endorsement is required in Washington to ride a motorcycle. Data shows that endorsed riders have fewer infractions and are less likely to be involved in fatal collisions when compared to unendorsed riders. http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.55.113
About 75% of fatal motorcycle crash victims have no record of a training program completion, leaving us to wonder if the outcome would have been different had they received training. Approved motorcycle rider training schools can be found at many locations around the state.
Universal motorcycle helmet laws are effective at increasing helmet use, and recommended by NHTSA as a “countermeasure that works”. Review Washington’s helmet law.
Motorcycle Safety Education Advisory Board http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/motoboardmeetings.html
Washington Laws Related to Motorcycles