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Washington Motorcycle Accident Statistics [2024]

Colburn Law

Washington Motorcycle Accident Statistics [2024]

Despite advances in vehicle safety features and road design, motorcyclists continue to face disproportionately high risks on the roads. The lack of a protective shell, combined with a higher propensity for rollovers or loss of control, can lead to serious collisions between two- and four-wheeled vehicles.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), highlights these risks. Here are some of the most impactful motorcycle accident statistics that you need to know.

Motorcycle Accidents Are More Likely to Be Fatal

Motorcycle riders face far greater risks on the road compared to occupants of passenger vehicles. In 2022, the NHTSA reported motorcyclists were about 22 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled. 

The same year saw 6,218 motorcyclist fatalities, marking the highest number of fatal accidents since records began in 1975. According to the latest data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 131 fatal motorcycle crashes happened in 2022.

Many Motorcycle Accidents Involve Alcohol

Alcohol impairment remains a major factor in motorcycle accidents. Nationally, 42% of motorcyclists who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2022 were alcohol-impaired. Within Washington, 53% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved an impaired driver.

Both motorists and motorcyclists can get behind the wheel while drunk or on drugs, leading to devastating consequences. These substances impair several critical functions that are necessary for safe driving, such as reaction times, concentration, and judgment.

Speeding Is a Major Contributor to Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

Excessive speed exacerbates the severity of crashes, leading to more fatal outcomes. Speeding reduces the reaction time a rider has to avoid obstacles or respond to sudden changes in traffic conditions, increasing the likelihood of a collision. Furthermore, higher speeds can lead to more severe impacts, which significantly escalate the chances of catastrophic injuries or death.

Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are killed or suffer serious injuries in speeding-related crashes every year. In Washington alone, speeding was involved in 50% of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2022.

Distracted Driving Also Plays a Role in Motorcycle Accidents

Distracted driving involves any action that takes your eyes, hands, or mind away from the act of operating a vehicle or motorcycle. This behavior reduces the rider’s ability to react to road conditions and other vehicles, directly contributing to accidents. According to the WTSC, 8% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2022 involved a distracted driver.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Colburn Law Today

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, the impact can be significant. Motorcyclists often face significant challenges in the aftermath of an accident, including severe injuries, costly medical bills, and potential loss of income. Navigating these challenges while recovering can be overwhelming, which is why you need an attorney on your side.

In Washington, victims of motorcycle accidents have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the person responsible for their collision. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, represent your interests in court to secure the compensation that you deserve.

Do not navigate the legal process alone. Contact a Bellevue, Washington motorcycle accident attorney to learn more about your legal rights and initiate your claim for damages.