Motorcycle Accidents in Seattle and Washington State

The map above illustrates all motorcycle-involved fatal collisions in Washington state in 2018. Click on a location to learn more about the incident. Data provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The amount of people who regularly ride motorcycles as a primary means of transportation in Seattle and Washington state has significantly increased over the past couple of years. Combined with the recent warm weather in the area and we are seeing many motorcycles on the road.

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.

2014-2018 Motorcycle Accident Data

Over the past five years, motorcycle-involved fatal and suspected serious injury crashes have become much more common in our state. Consider the following increases:

  • Fatal crashes: +15.39 percent
  • Serious injury crashes: +11.61 percent
  • Fatalities: +19.70 percent 
  • Run off the road crashes: +17.40 percent
  • Lane departure crashes: +17.43 percent

Click here for a full .pdf spreadsheet of the 2014-18 motorcycle collision data.

On average, there are 440.6 fatal or serious injury motorcycle collisions in Washington state on average each year. We believe many of those are preventable. 

Seattle personal injury lawyer Chris Davis of the Davis Law Group has spent many years representing people seriously injured in motorcycle accidents throughout Washington state. Over the years, he has observed his injured motorcycle clients and potential clients repeatedly make the same false assumptions and mistakes after they have been hurt due to the negligence of a driver.

Now, Mr. Davis has written a book that addresses all of the most common mistakes and errors to make sure that motorcyclists do not get hurt twice. "Road to Justice: A Legal Guide to Motorcycle Accident Claims," is free, and information may be priceless. 

Click Here to Order

2018 Motorcycle Accident Statistics for Washington State

  • Fatal motorcycle collisions: 75
  • Suspected serious injury collisions: 375
  • Alcohol-impaired collisions: 42
  • Speed related crashes: 159

Motorcycle Accidents in the United States

  • There was a 7.1 percent increase in total motorcycle accident fatalities throughout the United States in 2012.
  • It’s estimated that between 28 to 33 percent 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 younger than 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.

Common Injuries in 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that a motorcyclist that does not wear a helmet is 10 times more likely to be killed in a collision.

Some of the most common injuries in these collisions include:

  • Fractures & Broken Bones - Broken legs, arms, shoulders, and fractured pelvis injuries are among the more common types of serious injuries we often see in motorcycle accident cases. Motorcyclists are not protected from external impact, which is one of the main reasons that fractures to the extremities are so common.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Brain Damage - Head injuries are quite common in motorcycle accident cases, even in situations where the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. While helmet use does reduce the risk of death by an estimated 37%, the typical impact in these collisions can still be severe enough to cause a serious head injury.
  • Road Rash - Because motorcyclists have limited protection, road rash and other injuries to a rider's skin are fairly common in motorcycle accidents even if there was never an actual collision. Simply laying down a motorcycle to avoid an accident will typically lead to road rash, and extreme cases can require extensive treatment and even plastic surgery.
  • Rider's Arm - Rider's arm refers to nerve damage and potential paralysis of a rider's arm(s) that may receive the brunt of the impact if a rider falls off of their bike in an accident. This can occur to both arms and legs in serious accident cases.
  • Facial Injuries & Disfigurement - Facial injuries are very common in serious motorcycle accidents as riders are often thrown from the bike at a very high rate of speed. These injuries require extensive medical treatment and take a long time to recover from.
  • Spinal cord injuries - Complete spinal cord injuries, incomplete spinal cord injuries, and spinal stenosis can change a rider’s life after a crash.
  • Dental injuries - A biker's face is usually exposed in an accident. While the head is protected by the helmet, the facial area is not.
  • Internal injuries - Injuries to the chest and ribs may occur in a bike crash. Vital organs such as the heart and lungs may be affected.
  • Lacerations - Motorcyclists often suffer cuts and scrapes in addition to road rash after a motorcycle accident.
  • Amputations - An amputation may happen at the accident scene or because of an infection that results from a bike injury. Either way, amputations are a life-changing condition for an injured rider.
  • Wrongful Death - In serious accidents, motorcyclists may pass away due to their injuries.

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.

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it may be in your best interests to consult with an experienced attorney who regularly represents injured motorcyclists. Motorcycle crash victims often suffer serious injuries and face costly medical bills, and insurance companies often fight these claims to maximize their own profitability. 

Call Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 for a free case review and to learn more about your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. We work on a contingency fee basis so there is no obligation and there are no up-front costs if you do decide to hire us to handle your case.