State reminds motorists to help keep motorcyclists safe

July 2, 2014

By Staff

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The state Department of Licensing, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the state Department of Transportation are reminding drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcyclists.

To raise awareness about tragic but preventable motorcycle crashes, 17 large road signs will be installed this summer across Washington where fatal motorcycle crashes are highest. These signs will remain in place for 10 to 15 years.

“Increasing safe motorcycle riding and cooperation among all road users is essential to reaching Washington’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a news release. “Motorists and motorcyclists are all responsible for making sure everyone arrives home safely.”

In Washington, motorcycle deaths are not steadily declining like overall traffic deaths. Motorcycles make up just 4 percent of the registered vehicles on the roads, but account for almost 15 percent of the traffic fatalities (2009-11 average). Even worse, in 2012, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 19 percent (83 out of 438) of the traffic fatalities in Washington.

On a per-vehicle-mile basis, motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured. Speeding, running off the road, and riding under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are the main contributing factors in these crashes.

Motorcyclists should always ride sober and within the posted speed limits, get the required training and endorsement, and wear DOT compliant helmets and protective gear.

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