A lot of big motorcycle events were canceled this year — including the Hog Wild Weekend that normally takes place in July. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are still being vastly over-represented in fatal wrecks. There were 92 fatalities among Washington motorcyclists in 2019, and 2020 isn’t shaping up to be any better. As of late July of this year, 41 riders have already been killed.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is urging both motorcyclists themselves and other drivers to work together to improve those numbers and create safer roads in the state for everyone. Officials note that between 2015 and 2019, only 3% of the motor vehicles registered in the state were motorcycles, but 15% of those killed in traffic accidents were motorcyclists.

If you ride a motorcycle, here are some important safety reminders:

  • Training helps. If it has been a while since you’ve ridden, consider taking a refresher class that will go over the basics and help you get up to speed.
  • You need the right gear. Remember: You need to dress for the road, not the weather. Leather jackets and pants, gloves and non-skid boots can prevent a lot of injuries. You also need a helmet with a face shield that is properly fitted to your head.
  • Use reflective tape. A lot of motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers simply aren’t looking for them. Reflective tape can help you get spotted before there is a crash.
  • Stay sober. Drugs and alcohol contribute to a lot of mistakes on the road. If you aren’t sober, stay home.
  • Do your maintenance. Accidents can also be caused by poorly maintained equipment. Check your tires, your tubes and your fluids. Make sure your headlights and signals operate correctly before you head out on the road.
  • Be alert and focused. Don’t put your iPods in your ears and tune out the road. Similarly, don’t try to drive when you’re feeling exhausted. Distractions and drowsiness can be fatal on the road.

If you are involved in a wreck caused by another driver, make sure that you get experienced representation for your claim. Your injuries may keep you out of work for a while — and the financial pressures following an accident can be severe. An advocate can help you get a fair settlement.