Witnesses say a motorcyclist blew through a stop sign before colliding with a vehicle Sunday night in Camas, suffering life-threatening injuries. The Camas Police Department identified the motorcyclist as 28-year-old Christopher D. Lewis of Vancouver. Lewis was transported to Peace Health Southwest Hospital in Vancouver.
Hospital staff said early Monday morning that Lewis was in serious condition.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Police said that the driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Michaela Lenard of Camas, remained at the scene and was cooperative with officers.
Motorcycle Accidents In Washington
In 2016, there were 2,264 crashes in Washington State that involved a motorcycle. Of those crashes, 363 resulted in serious injury, while 77 were fatal. Motorcycles are at-risk on roadways because of their size, as drivers often overlook them. As a result, injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents are usually serious, long-lasting and can be catastrophic – mainly due to the lack of protection a motorcycle provides from injury like a car does.
According to the Washington State Police, the single biggest cause of motorcycle fatalities is excessive speed and user inexperience. A 2012 study estimated that between 28 to 33 percent of motorcyclists in Washington State do not have motorcycle endorsements, which amounts to 35,000 people.
Motorcycle deaths are nearly 30 times more common than drivers of other vehicles. In Seattle, approximately 80 percent of all motorcycle-related accidents resulted in the cyclist’s injury or death.
If you or someone you know is involved in a motorcycle crash, it may be in your best interests to at least discuss your case with an experienced motorcycle attorney to evaluate your options. There are a variety of laws regarding motorcycle accidents, and an attorney with a strong track record can make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of your legal rights.
Because motorcycles are lighter than cars and trucks, they are afforded the option to legally run a red light. With many traffic lights operated by underground sensors, bikers in Washington and over a dozen other states can proceed with caution and go through a red light if the device fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic signal. These are called “Safe-On-Red” laws, and while it may sound dangerous, it’s a safer alternative for motorcyclists.
Without a safe-on-red law, motorcyclists were sometimes forced to leave their bike in the road to push the pedestrian crosswalk button to trip the light, or simply illegally run the light. The safe-on-red laws essentially allow motorcycle operators to treat a stop light like a stop sign. This can change the situation on the roads between automobiles and motorcycles, and remaining aware of such laws is important.