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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Motorcycle safety

Best Ride Ever. It's a Fine Line. Last Ride Ever. Banner by Ride Safe Washington.

It's important that automobiles and motorcycles share the road to ensure the safety of both drivers and riders. While traffic crash deaths are decreasing overall in the state of Washington, deaths of motorcycle riders are not declining.

From 2008 to 2012, 366 motorcyclists died and 2,132 motorcyclists were seriously injured in Washington. During this period, 71 motorcyclists died and 478 motorcyclists were seriously injured in King County.
...Washington Traffic Safety Commission, July 2013

The top rider errors that lead to these deaths and serious injuries are impaired riding and speeding. Between 2010 to 2012 in Washington state, 52% of motorcycle fatalities did not involve any other vehicles.

To stay safe on a motorcycle: Ride Safe, Ride Sober, Ride Endorsed:

  1. Get your motorcycle endorsement! Riders with certified training and legal endorsement have fewer serious injury or fatal crashes. Approved training schools are available.
  2. Always wear a helmet! Washington state law (RCW 46.37.530) requires that everyone riding wears a legal motorcycle helmet. Check out the Bogus Helmet brochure to make sure your helmet meets legal requirements and will protect your head in the event of a crash
  3. Ride sober. Alcohol and other drugs affect reaction times, vision, judgment and more. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can affect your riding ability.
  4. Wear appropriate gear for comfort and protection of your eyes and body. Wear reflective material to increase your visibility to motorists.
  5. Obey traffic laws. Follow speed limits and adjust for weather or road conditions.
  6. Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride.

Motorcycle safety resources