Motorcycle Accident Basics in Seattle, Washington

Motorcycle accidents continue to rise, causing severe injuries and unexpected expenses for all those involved. While motorcycle accidents make up just 4% of registered vehicles in the state of Washington, according to statistics from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, they represent 17% of fatalities and 18% of serious injuries caused in accidents between the years 2012 and 2014. Motorcyclists do not have the advantage of a crumple zone, the extreme front and rear of a vehicle designed to crumple easily in a crash and absorb the main force of impact. This leaves motorcycle riders unprotected and more prone to being thrown from their vehicles. While helmets and motorcycle gear are designed to drastically reduce injury, motorcyclists are still exposed to far greater risks than car drivers when navigating the roadways.

What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents?

According to the Hurt Report, the most common type of motorcycle accident is caused when motorcyclists collide with another vehicle, usually a passenger automobile. This type of accident typically occurs when the driver of an automobile disobeys a traffic control, such as signals or left-hand turns. For example, if a motorcyclist has the right of way through a stop sign, the at-fault driver of the motor vehicle might not be paying attention and proceed through a stop sign without waiting for the motorcyclist, thereby causing a collision.

Another common type of motorcycle accident is when a car driver does not check oncoming traffic before proceeding through a left turn and hits a motorcyclist in the process. Remember to look both ways before making a left-turn.

One other type of accident occurs when a motorcycle collides with a roadway or some fixed object, such as a guardrail, the curb, or a tree. These types of accidents often happen while driving around curves and are almost always the motorcyclist’s fault. Risk factors such as the use of alcohol or drugs, bad weather, roadway defects, lack of attentiveness or experience and speeding increase the likelihood that a motorcyclist is involved in an accident.

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