As of August 28, there have been a total of 60 fatal motorcycle accidents in Washington State in 2012. According to the Washington State Patrol, the 2012 total is higher than it has been in the previous seven years, prompting the state to change the way it approves endorsements for aspiring riders.
Analysis of motorcycle crashes in the state revealed that more than 50 percent of the accidents are caused by mistakes made as riders approached a curve or turn. Seattle attorney Chris Davis, who has represented countless motorcycle accident injury victims throughout Washington State, commends the state for implementing a new testing system that aims to improve rider education and eliminate these preventable accidents.
“I’m glad to see the state take matters into their own hands with this issue,” says Davis, who has also authored several legal guides on personal injury law in Washington State. “The data shows that motorcyclists are causing many of these crashes, and I hope that the new system will help to prevent more accidents from happening in the future.”
In July, the WSP issued a press release specifically warning Washington motorcyclists of the dangers of riding on State Route 20, or the North Cascades Highway. Despite the announcement, there have been several serious accidents on SR 20 since the WSP’s warning, including a fatal collision on August 19. Officials say the low rate of motorcycle endorsement is also a significant factor in the spike in fatal accidents.
“Riding a motorcycle without an endorsement is the equivalent of driving a car without a driver’s license,” Davis added. “I believe that in order to deter motorcyclists from risking their own lives and the lives of others, we need to implement tougher penalties for those who do not obey the law. If the penalties are significant enough, I think more people will take the proper steps to obtaining a license.”
Currently, unendorsed riders in Washington State are subject to a fine of $71 and the motorcycle will be impounded. Davis is among many critics in believing that these penalties are not enough of a deterrent for unendorsed riders.
As a public service to Washington State residents, Davis is offering his book, “Washington Injury Law: A Reference Guide for Accident Victims” for free to victims of motorcycle accidents in Washington. Anyone interested in ordering a free copy of the book can find it, along with the entire Washington Accident Books series, at http://www.WashingtonAccidentBooks.com.
About Chris Davis
Christopher M. Davis, founder of the Davis Law Group, has been a licensed personal injury attorney in the state of Washington since 1993. He has tried dozens of personal injury cases to verdict and has successfully handled and resolved hundreds of accident claims. He has been a Washington Super Lawyer' for seven years in a row for his expertise and success in litigating personal injury claims.