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Motorcycles can be fun, but they may be risky as well

In Seattle and elsewhere, motorcycles can represent freedom and adventure, a way to hit the road in a liberating and exciting fashion. But, the rush of having nothing separating the person from the wind whipping across their jacket and the pavement zipping past their feet is that they have little-to-no protection if something goes wrong. When it does, a motorcycle accident can leave a motorcyclist seriously hurt or even dead.

Some statistics underscore the risks that motorcyclists face. In nearly 70 percent of accidents between a motorcyclist and another vehicle, the other vehicle failed to respect the motorcyclist's right of way, which ultimately caused the accident. And when a crash happens, a motorcyclist is five times more likely to be hurt and more than 25 times more likely to die as someone in other vehicles.

Certain factors play into these statistics. For one, motorcycles can be hard to see. They are small; other vehicles and road conditions can readily obscure them. And that means that other drivers can have a hard time seeing motorcycles while passing, turning and especially going through intersections. Of that group, intersections are the most dangerous for motorcyclists.

Road hazards are also more dangerous for motorcycles than other vehicles. Indeed, many road hazards are minor impediments to, for example, a car. But, that same road hazard can be huge for a motorcyclist. Consider, for instance, potholes, puddles and debris. A car may go over each uneventfully. For a motorcyclist, it may be enough to send the bike skidding or the driver flying.

Because so many accidents involving a motorcycle are actually caused by other vehicles, it is particularly important for motorcyclists to know their rights. Those who want to know more may benefit from getting more information.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview," Accessed July 5, 2016

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