The number of motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents declined last year, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA found 4,985 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2018, a 4.7% drop from the 2017 totals.
Motorcycle accidents continue to play an outsized role in Washington's statistics about traffic fatalities.
Riding a motorcycle comes with risks. Everyone who rides a motorcycle knows that. In Washington, before they can get an endorsement on their license allowing them to legally drive a motorcycle, riders have to go through special training, pass a written test and a riding skills test. Much of the training focuses on how to be a responsible motorcyclist and avoid road hazards.
In Washington, motorcyclists generally must wear a helmet when riding. This is in the best interests of riders, as wearing a helmet can protect a person from suffering a head injury if the person is involved in a motorcycle accident. In fact, a motorcyclist who doesn't wear a helmet is three times more apt to suffer a brain injury in a motorcycle crash than those who do wear a helmet. Simply put, helmets save lives.
We may be in the dog days of summer, but that doesn't stop many bikers in Washington from hitting the road on their motorcycles. Whether it is a scenic drive or simply a means to get from point A to point B, motorists in Seattle need to make sure they are aware of motorcyclists in their vicinity. If they don't and strike a motorcyclist, the motorcyclist could be seriously injured or even killed.
The summer months in the Seattle area are in many ways the best time of the year for motorcyclists. Many riders get their bikes out of storage and out on the road to enjoy the warmer weather. Good riders protect themselves with proper gear and defensive driving techniques. Unfortunately, there is only so much they can do to protect themselves from accidents caused by other drivers.
In Washington and other states across the nation, the summer months mean spending more time outdoors. While this can mean going to the park, lake or pool, it could also mean enjoying a ride. Motorcyclists tend to put in the most miles during the warmer months. Although motorists tend to notice the increase of bikers on the roadways, some motorists fail to take added precautions. This could result in a serious or even fatal accident.
When the weather is nice, you can expect to see more people doing things outside. Motorists also enjoy the warm and pleasant weather by rolling down their windows, opening their sunroofs, putting the top down on their convertibles or riding a motorcycle. While it is common to see motorcyclists on the roads during the spring and summer months, motorists may not always be aware of their presence. Because of their small size, it is easy for motorcycles to hide in blind spots. Thus, motorists should check these areas before making any maneuvers. The failure to do so could result in a serious motorcycle crash.
With warm weather making its presence in the state of Washington, it can be expected to see more individuals spending time outdoors. This also means motorists need to be more aware of their surroundings. This is not only important when pedestrians are present, but also when smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles, are traveling near them. Failing to check mirrors and blind spots could result in a serious and even fatal motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle safety is essentially, a two-way street. In other words, motorcyclists are not the only ones expected to safely drive. Washington motorists are also expected to be attentive to these two-wheeled vehicles and drive safely around them. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are the results of the negligence of other motorists. Whether one is not paying attention to their surroundings, fails to check their mirrors and blind spots, distracted or even intoxicated, a serious, possibly fatal, collision could ensue.