Now that spring has sprung, drivers in Seattle may start to see more motorcyclists on the road, whether it is a classic Harley-Davidson or one of the newer super sports models. Motorcyclists have every right to share the road with other motor vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that there will be accidents between motorcyclists and other vehicles. What’s worse is that it seems to be more likely that a motorcyclist will die in a crash when compared to occupants of other types of vehicles.

Motorcycle deaths decreased from 4,692 in 2013 to 4,586 in 2014 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This amounts to a reduction in deaths of 2.3 percent. However, riding a motorcycle is still more dangerous than driving an automobile. The NHTSA reports that while only nine out of every 100,000 passenger cars were involved in a deadly accident in 2013, motorcyclists fared much worse with 56 out of every 100,000 being involved in a deadly accident. It has also been reported by the NHTSA that of all motorcycle deaths, over 50 percent in 2013 were of motorcyclists 40 years old or older.

While motorcycle deaths went down in 2014 compared to 2013, motorcycle injuries went up. In 2013, the NHTSA reports there were 88,000 motorcycle injuries. In 2014, that number raised to 92,000. This represents a 4.5 percent increase. As with deaths, older motorcyclists seem to have suffered more severe injuries than younger motorcyclists. According to a study from Brown University motorcyclists 60 years old and older were 2.5 more likely to suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident than motorcyclists ages 20 to 39. Some types of injuries motorcyclists could sustain in a crash include broken bones, dislocations and brain injuries.

If a driver is at fault in an accident involving a motorcyclist, that driver could be facing a lawsuit. Injured motorcyclists may seek compensation for the oftentimes significant medical expenses they incur due to the crash, not to mention the pain and suffering they endured. And should the motorcyclist be killed due to the negligence of another, his or her family may seek a wrongful death suit. In the end, drivers should always be aware of motorcycles in their vicinity, to avoid otherwise preventable accidents.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Motorcycle Crashes,” April 2016