Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Washington & the U.S.

With beautiful mountain ranges, gorgeous lakes and a rugged coastline, Washington State is the ideal place to ride a motorcycle. That being said, riding in Washington isn’t without risk; in 2014, there were 59 fatal motorcycle crashes in the state that caused 60 deaths and 298 serious injury crashes, resulting in 316 serious injuries.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Washington State

In 2013, there were 73 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents in Washington State and 347 seriously injured. In 2012, 75 motorcyclists were killed in Washington. The trends for 2014 show a favorable decrease in casualties.

The most common sites of injury in a motorcycle crash, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:

  • Legs or feet – 30 percent
  • Head or neck – 22 percent
  • Upper trunk – 20 percent
  • Arms or hands – 18 percent
  • Lower truck – 8 percent


Rates of fatalities and injuries can be reduced by wearing proper motorcycle protective gear.

Motorcycle Accident Fatalities and Injuries in the U.S.

Washington is not the only place in the nation where it’s dangerous to be a motorcyclist. In 2013, 4,688 people died in motorcycle crashes across the U.S. While the number is still shockingly high, it was a 6.4 percent decrease from 2012 when 4,986 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents. Approximately 88,000 motorcyclists were injured during 2013.

Who was involved in motorcycle crashes?

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average age of motorcyclists killed in 2013 was 42. Furthermore, those motorcycle riders aged 40 and older accounted for 46 percent of all motorcyclist fatalities nationally. Motorcycle drivers were more likely to sustain fatal injuries than motorcycle passengers. And 91 percent of riders who died in motorcycle crashes in 2013 were male.

Helmet Use

One of the most common injuries among motorcyclists involved in accidents is a head injury. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing the death of a motorcyclist in an accident and 67 percent effective in preventing serious brain injuries.

According to NHTSA data, helmets saved the lives of 1,630 motorcyclists in 2013. However, 715 more lives could have been saved had all motorcyclists been helmeted.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics Involving Alcohol Use

Too many motorcyclists in 2013 chose to operate their motorcycles after having a drink; 28 percent of all motorcyclists who were killed in accidents in 2013, or 1,232, had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or greater. Of course, there were also motorcyclists involved in accidents in which the other driver was the one who was impaired.

In Washington State in 2013, 31 percent of motorcyclists who were killed in fatal accidents had a BAC higher than .08 percent; 36 percent had a BAC higher than .01 percent.

Protect Yourself

You can protect yourself from being in a motorcycle accident or from sustaining serious or/and fatal injuries if you are in one by always doing the following:

  • Wearing a helmet and other protective gear
  • Riding sober
  • Following traffic laws
  • Performing motorcycle maintenance prior to heading out

What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident in Washington State

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Washington State that wasn’t your fault, you should contact a Washington motorcycle accident attorney. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may have the right to file a claim directly against the at-fault driver. At Max Meyers Law PLLC, we can help you understand how to recover damages. Call us today to learn more at 425-242-5595. 

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.