Washington State Patrol says most motorcycle deaths caused by rider error

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has issued a media release saying that new data on motorcycle accident deaths shows that 80% of fatal motorcycle collisions are the fault of the rider. According to State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, “half of fatal collisions don’t even involve a second vehicle.”

The Patrol says that most deaths are caused by “easily correctable errors”. These correctable errors are:
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  • Excessive speed
  • Errors in lane travel which result in hitting a fixed object like a guard rail, sign or tree or hitting oncoming traffic.

Batiste says that if riders slowed down, they would save their own life. He also said that inexperience is another cause of deaths. Statistics show that half of the riders who die do not have a motorcycle endorsement on their license. While motor vehicle fatalities are down overall, motorcycle fatalities are slightly up this year with 48 riders being killed this year compared to 43 for the same time period in 2007 and 59 in 2006.

WSP says they are going to enforce the law requiring a motorcycle endorsement. If they stop a motorcyclist and the cyclist does not have the endorsement, they will ticket the rider and probably impound the bike. To help riders get the endorsement, the Department of Licensing is offering additional courses in rider safety.

For information on obtaining your motorcycle endorsement, see the Washington State Department of Licensing web-site.

This information was brought to you by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We have represented motorcycle accident victims in Western Washington for more than 30 years.

Contact us today for a free case consultation.

See our Motorcycle Resources.