While more motorcycle riders than ever in Washington state are becoming endorsed by registering their motorcycles, the work toward safety and awareness continues. There have been 13 motorcycle fatalities so far this year; 11 of them were caused by the rider.
According to the State Patrol, this is a similar trend seen by law-enforcement officers over the past several years. The main cause of the accidents is excessive speed and inexperience – riders exceeding their skill level.
“It’s no longer an excuse to blame the other driver,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste. “It’s the responsibility of the rider to take the steps to ride safe, not drink and drive, and know your riding ability.”
Last weekend, there were three fatality motorcycle collisions on Washington roadways; all were caused by rider error.
Young riders on high-powered bikes and older riders who lack appropriate training are the two groups most prone to accidents. The State Patrol encourages all riders to take motorcycle safety classes, which teach how to recognize a collision developing where there is still time to avoid it.
However, all motorists are responsible for being alert and aware of motorcyclists around them. That includes checking blind spots before changing lanes, allowing for extra distance when following a motorcycle and being aware of approaching motorcycles.
“All motorists, regardless of what they are driving, need to look carefully for motorcyclists, respect their safety, and share the road,” Batiste said.