We all know that motorcyclists are overrepresented in crashes and crash fatalities. But what does the data actually show? This post will look at motorcycle crash statistics for Washington State. Also, we’ll share steps Washington is taking to reduce those numbers and bring awareness to motorcycle safety.
And before we get further, we wanted to let you know that our team of motorcycle accident attorneys is here to talk if you need any help after an accident.
The total number of motorcycle crashes has declined slightly in recent years. Unfortunately, motorcycle crash fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise since 2019. In 2022, we saw a staggering 125 motorcyclist fatalities. In fact, we haven’t seen these many fatalities since 1982.
Here are some other notable crash trends, compiled from Target Zero and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission:
Sadly, there has been no major shift in these numbers in more than a decade. It is clear we are moving in the wrong direction and will need to act to reverse course.
The table below depicts how many motorcycle crashes happen in Washington.
|Year||Total Crashes||Fatal||Suspected Serious Injury||Suspected Minor Injury|
Data collected from WSDOT.
Nationwide, motorcycle fatalities decreased slightly from 2018 to 2019, whereas our State saw an increase. In Washington, motorcyclists make up 14% of all traffic-related fatalities. This is the same percentage we see across the country.
What’s working well is our state-wide helmet law. In 2019, of all the motorcyclists killed across the US, 37% weren’t wearing helmets. That same year, in Washington? Only 2% of motorcyclists killed weren’t wearing one. The data shows that states that have universal helmet laws (like ours) result in fewer fatalities than states that’d don’t.
(Read more about this topic on our post How Many Lives are Saved When Motorcyclists Wear Helmets?)
In 2000, Washington created a bold plan called Target Zero. The singular goal is to reduce all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2030. As they explain: “Everyone in Washington State should be able to travel on our roadways without fear of being killed or seriously hurt.”
Given the high number of motorcycle crash fatalities, it’s no wonder that this is an area of focus for Target Zero. The image below comes from their July 2021 campaign.
At its core, Target Zero starts with data and lots of it. From there, they set priorities and identify opportunities for crash reduction. Tactics could include safe roadway design, licensing best practices, and campaigns that influence driver behavior.
It’s a myth that drivers cause most motorcycle accidents. Actually, the opposite is true. According to the Washington Department of Licensing, 75% of riders are at least partially responsible for their crash. Given that, what things can you do to ensure your safety?
Also, make sure to check out itsafineline.com, a website run by motorcycle advocates working to achieve Target Zero. Here, you’ll find news, videos, and resources throughout Washington State.
What happens if you have been injured in a motorcycle collision due to a driver’s fault? Please, give our team at Ladenburg Law a call. We have decades of combined experience helping victims throughout Washington State win fair settlements. Plus, there’s no cost for a case review.
Call us today so we can answer all the questions you have.