Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Seattle and Washington

The amount of people who regularly ride motorcycles as a primary means of transportation in Seattle has significantly increased over the past couple of years. As has been the case with the increase in bicycle ridership throughout Washington state, the growth in numbers among the motorcycle community is likely due to a number of factors.

The low cost to purchase a motorcycle, small size and superior fuel efficiency over other types of vehicles are all factors that make riding a motorcycle appealing. At the same time, the growth in motorcycle ridership means more vulnerable riders on the roadways, which means the number of motorcycle accidents is likely to increase simultaneously as well.

In 2012, the number of fatalities was the highest that the city of Seattle has ever seen. Being involved in a motorcycle collision can leave you with multiple devastating injuries, and because

Motorcycle Accidents in the U.S. and Washington State

  • There was a 7.1 increase in total motorcycle accident fatalities throughout the United States in 2012
  • It’s estimated that between 28 to 33% of motorcyclists riding today in Washington State do not have Motorcycle Endorsements, which amounts to 35,000 people according to the Washington Department of Licensing
  • Motorcycle rider deaths are nearly 30 times more common than drivers of other vehicles
  • Motorcycle riders aged below 40 are 36 times more likely to be killed than other vehicle operators of the same age
  • Motorcyclist error is a more common contributing factor to accidents involving a single vehicle

Seattle Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • In approximately 80% of all Seattle motorcycle accidents resulted in the cyclist's injury or death
  • Motorcycle riders aged 40 years and over are around 20 times more likely to be killed than other drivers of that same age
  • 75% of accidents have been found to involve a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle while the remaining 25% of accidents were single motorcycle accidents
  • Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement
  • Injury severity increases with motorcycle size, speed, and alcohol involvement
  • Vehicle failure accounts for less than 3% of motorcycle accidents
  • The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is one of the most common factors contributing to motorcycle accidents

Because motorcyclists are afforded significantly less physical protection from the elements of the roadway than an occupant of a standard motor vehicle, the chances of a motorcyclist being seriously injured in a collision are extremely high. The NHTSA says that a motorcyclist who does not wear a helmet is 10 times more likely to be killed in a collision.

Distracted driving and drunk driving are also significant contributing factors to motorcycle accidents and are often present in fatal motorcycle collisions. If you or a loved one has suffered significant personal injuries because of a motorcycle accident, it may be in your best interests to consult with a personal injury attorney. Call the office of Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 or contact us online to have your case evaluated during a free legal consultation.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.