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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Motorcycle safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Motorcycle website
Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Motorcycle website to learn more about motorcycle safety.
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.

To stay safe on a motorcycle:

  1. Learn good basic riding techniques
  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. Wear other appropriate gear for comfort and protection of your eyes and body
  4. Wear bright clothing and use retro-reflective material
  5. Ride only when fully awake. Fatigue and drowsiness can impair a motorcyclist's ability to react
  6. Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride
  7. Ride sober. Alcohol and other drugs affect reaction times, vision, judgment and more. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can affect your riding ability on a motorcycle
  8. Obey traffic laws. Drive at a safe speed, stay in your lane, and stop at red lights and stop signs

Motorcycle training schools approved by the Washington state Department of Licensing

Motorcycle safety resources