Motorcycle fatality increase a cause for concern | Washington State Patrol

Motorcycle fatality increase a cause for concern | Washington State Patrol

12 deaths in April across state

By Sgt. Darren Wright

Washington State Patrol

For a motorcycle rider, what could be better than warm spring weather, sunny days, and open roads? For too many riders in Washington, recent lower traffic volumes have led to higher speeds and tragically, to an increase in rider deaths.

In 2020, 12 of the 17 motorcycle fatalities on Washington roads occurred during the month of April. Speeding was a common factor in these almost always preventable collisions.

Speed is usually the answer. There has been a significant increase in high speed violations by both cars and motorcycles. Speeds in the mid to upper 100s have been observed with one vehicle traveling 192 mph. At these speeds, the chances of being involved in a collision increase dramatically, and the severity of the collision is often deadly.

In 2019, there were 92 motorcycle fatalities, the most since 1982.

Leading factors contributing to these numbers were speed, inexperience as demonstrated by a lack of proper license endorsement, and driving while impaired. Driving while impaired is always dangerous, but when the impaired person makes a choice to operate a motorcycle, the danger rises significantly. The operation of a motorcycle takes more mental focus and physical coordination than driving a car. Focus and coordination are severely diminished by intoxicants and drugs. Motorcycles also lack many of a car’s safety devices such as seat belts and airbags to protect a rider in a collision. Even “minor” motorcycle collisions can have major consequences.

Unfortunately, another dangerous decision that some riders have made is failing to stop for police for a speeding violation. The rapid acceleration and top speeds of modern motorcycles leads some riders to think that running from the police is possible. That is always a bad decision often leading to dire consequences including serious legal troubles, injury, or being the victim or cause of a fatal collision.

WSP too often sees individuals turn what would have been a traffic infraction into a serious felony offense leading to prison time and changed life trajectories. Very often, riders who think they are getting away, are actually being followed by aircraft operated by WSP troopers. The plane follows the rider and safely coordinates pursuing and awaiting troopers to a final stopping location where the rider is arrested and taken into custody.

WSP would like to remind all motorcyclists that open roads do not mean you are free to open the throttle. Enjoy your ride but stay safe, obey speed limits, wear safety gear, be visible to other drivers, pay attention, and always ride sober.

We would also like to remind all motorists that no matter how busy the roadways are or are not, speed is the number one factor in traffic fatalities. Slow down. The life you save may be your own.

Sgt. Darren Wright is a Washington State Patrol public information officer


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Blotter
Man tied up, kidnapped near Gateway Center | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Nov. 18-23

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

World Vision Corporate Engagement Director Samantha King, left, and Chip-in Founder Gerald Smiley pause for a photo while providing turkeys, fresh food kits, PPE and school supplies to more than 300 local families at Federal Way High School on Nov. 23. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Fundraiser leads to 300 turkeys for Federal Way families

Former MLB player, World Vision partner to provide turkeys, resources

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County Council passes $12.59 billion biennial budget

King County Council on Nov. 17 passed a $12.59 billion biennial budget… Continue reading

Blotter
Victims robbed at gunpoint over iPhone sale | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Nov. 11-17

Seven cities in South King County have a contract with the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail in Des Moines. Courtesy photo
Federal Way considers returning to SCORE jail

After departure finalized in Jan.2020, new possible contract city agreement would result in three inmate beds for approximately $128 per day.

Federal Way City Council member Linda Kochmar. Photo courtesy city of Federal Way
Councilmember Kochmar wins 2020 Elected Women of Excellence Award

Award given by the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL)

Most Read