Washington is still in the process of loosening its COVID-19 restrictions. That means that our roadways could soon return to a somewhat normal state.
Over the last few months, vehicular traffic in Washington dropped significantly. As a result, the rate of crashes dropped. This doesn't necessarily mean that our roadways became safer. In April 2020, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported a sharp increase in dangerous speeding and aggressive driving.
Motorcyclist death toll increases amid COVID-19
The upward trend in dangerous driving behavior may have been fueled by a lack of traffic congestion and the assumption that police aren't out enforcing the traffic laws. Motorcyclists have been especially put in harm's way during the last few months.
According to KOMO News, Washington has seen a disturbing upward trend in motorcycle fatalities while traffic remains below average. Approximately 24 motorcyclists died on Washington roads as of May 27th, 12 of them in April alone. The last time that many motorcyclists have died in a single month was in 2006. From May 3-10, another eight motorcyclists were killed in crashes.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, there are 35-40 statewide motorcyclist deaths each summer. In order to help prevent motorcycle deaths, Washington law enforcement officers have increased patrols on some major roadways for the summer.
Safety tips for motorcyclists
If you plan on riding this summer, especially as more people begin traveling, it's important to take these safety precautions:
- Drive defensively: Be aware of speeders, aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, and distracted drivers. Keep a safe distance from these drivers, if possible.
- Be aware of changes in the road: Always be aware of changes to roadway infrastructure, as well as roadway defects (potholes, downed branches, etc.).
- Wear protective gear: Be sure to wear a properly fitted helmet, long pants, leather jacket, gloves, eye protection, and boots to avoid a severe injury.
- Ensure that your bike is in proper working order: If you haven't had your motorcycle inspected, be sure to do so. Always check your wheels, tires, brakes, horn, lights, and steering before riding.
Actions to take if you were involved in a motorcycle accident
If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, it's important that you speak to an experienced Washington motorcycle accident attorney. The attorneys at Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC have seen the devastation negligent drivers have caused to motorcyclists.
We are dedicated to fighting for justice and full compensation for injured motorcyclists in Kent and throughout the Seattle Metro area. Schedule your free consultation with our legal team by contacting us online.